Fear Of Action In Hamlet

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Shakespeare’s classic play, ‘Hamlet’, presents the titular young prince as he attempts to follow through with bringing his father’s killer to justice. However, Hamlet continually seems unable to do so. Despite the many opportunities’ presented to him, Shakespeare’s tragic hero never seizes them. A major reason for this is Hamlet’s fear of action which prohibits him from doing what he must. There are a multitude of factors that contribute and ultimately control this fear, including Hamlet’s fear of the consequences of his actions, his fear of being incorrect, and his fear of failure.
Hamlet’s fear of the consequences of his exploits stem from his fear of action. It delays his actions and present a moral dilemma that Hamlet must deal with in order to proceed. Were Hamlet to take immediate action, he would be committing regicide, and if caught, could be punished for this. Above these physical consequences are the spiritual ones that Hamlet too fears. He compares his actions to that of the man he is plotting to kill, and acknowledges the place his soul would be put in. Hamlet fears Hell. Knowing this may be a consequence for murder,
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His cowardice prevents Hamlet from moving forward in his plans as his concerns for falling short in his father’s eyes prohibit him from even trying. Were he to try killing the king only to fail, not only could he suffer the pre-established consequences he fears, but the King would also continue living, his father would not have been served justice, and would continue walking in purgatory. Hamlet does not trust his own abilities. Hamlet strives for the success that he sees in those around him, including Claudius, his own father, and most importantly, Fortinbras. He compares himself to him, stating “Quote – Hamlet comparing himself to Fortinbras, saying how good he is”, which clearly shows he strives for success yet is to afraid that he will lose it were he to

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