Hamlet Patience or Procrastination

Published: 2021-08-25 10:25:07
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Category: Patience

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If you have one, then others assume you are doing the other. Is this always true though? It seems in our society people are always in a hurry and need to get things done quickly that patience has lost its virtue and those people have forgotten what it means. In Shakespeare’s drama “Hamlet” this argument has arisen more times than we could count, but when it comes to Hamlet and his actions they are mostly of patience and intellect. We learn quickly that Hamlet is a scholar and of fairly high intelligence.
This is one reason why we see that he has the patience to wait for things to become in favorable states for him. In the start of the play we learn that Hamlet contemplates suicide (1. ii) because of the despair he feels. But after some contemplation he realizes that it will not help him in anyway. He also shows his greatest reflections on how he will enact revenge against his uncle/step-father who now has become the king of Denmark. To kill a king one cannot be caught or they have basically killed themselves. His patience saves him from damning himself and acting rashly.
Near the end of act 1 in scene 2, we see some quick decisions made by Hamlet to see the spirit of his father that his friends speak about. “I will watch tonight;”(1. ii) here he decides that he will go see it without second thought. He also decides that if it is his father then he will speak to it, even if the spirit could be evil: “If it assume my noble father’s person, I’ll speak to it, though hell itself should gape and bid me hold my peace. ”(1. ii) Both of these decisions are the opposite of a procrastinator.
When he actually sees his father’s ghost he is quick to follow the ghost’s command to follow it away from the others. (1. iv) It is upon this private meeting that Hamlet Senior’s ghost tells young Hamlet about his horrible murder. Loving his father very dearly Hamlet agrees to revenge his father. “Haste me to know’t that I, with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love, may sweep to my revenge. ”(1. V) This is where most people come to say that he becomes a procrastinator after his vow “So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word; It is ‘Adieu, adieu! Remember me.
I have sworn’t. ” However after this promise Hamlet has very little time or chances to kill his uncle Claudius. It is shortly after Hamlet’s vow that Claudius unknown of his step-son’s suspicions decides to send him to England to help cure him. Before he is sent away, Hamlet plots a way to be sure of Claudius’s guilt. Since after all ghosts can be a trick of the devil, Hamlet wants to make sure he is not killing an innocent soul and damning his own in the process. Hamlet who is known to be quite fond throws a play that replays the events of his father’s murder.
Shortly into the drama King Claudius interrupts the show in full anger confirming Hamlet’s suspicions. (3. ii) This patience to confirm them leads to the controversy of why Hamlet did not call out his uncle. But the king is not going to get the proper legal trial one should have for murder, so Hamlet has to revenge his father in a rather unlawful way. As one can imagine killing a king would take time and would have to be done in a matter with no witnesses, and finding royalty alone would be very difficult. After the staged play the extremely insulted king Claudius resorts to sending young Hamlet away. I like him not, nor stands it safe with us… And he to England” (3. iii). Prior to departure for England, Claudius places Hamlet under constant guard. The time from this conversation with Hamlet’s escorts until the finale, Hamlet receives one chance to kill him. However he finds himself unable to commit it because Claudius is connecting to god in prayer. “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; and now I’ll do’t. And so he goes to heaven; and so am I revenged. That would be scann’d:”(3. iii) To kill him while he is talking to god and cleansing his soul would risk the chance of his soul to be saved.
A murderer’s soul saved while his victim is stuck in purgatory is hardly at all justice. After passing the confession chance, Hamlet is sent to away although it is not long until his return. Upon returning to Denmark, Hamlet quickly ruins his hidden approach when he stumbles upon his girlfriend Ophelia’s funeral. At the funeral Hamlet makes a scene in front of everyone including his target, King Claudius. After realizing his step-son’s arrival back, Claudius puts Hamlet under surveillance while he concocts a plan for Hamlet’s death.
It is not until this plan of attack that Hamlet finally gets to enact the revenge he has been seeking. To say that Hamlet procrastinated in killing Claudius was his downfall is ludicrous and inconceivable. Hamlet was a patient creature and took the time to ensure his every move. His greatest example of this decision is his famous soliloquy “To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? ” (3. ) Here he acknowledges that his decision on how to approach the tasks will bring two different endings. The assassination and get away of any target is something that takes time to plan and figure out. If one evaluates the time and reassurance that young Hamlet needed to complete this task, they would gather that there was hardly any time to procrastinate. Especially when one considers that killing a king is a highly risky exercise and would require good opportunity to avoid interception. Looking through the time and observations he faced, Hamlet was by no means a procrastinator.

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