Internal Dilemma In Hamlet

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Hamlet’s Internal Dilemma: When Do I Kill My Uncle? When murder is the subject of one’s contemplation, decision-making can be difficult. In the passage “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying … This physic but prolongs thy sickly days” (III. iii. 77-100) of his play, Hamlet, William Shakespeare depicts Hamlet, following Claudius’s revelation of his guilt, as he is faced with the opportunity to kill his father’s murderer while he prays. Finally, Hamlet has the chance to fulfill his promise to his father and enact revenge, but ultimately decides killing his uncle in prayer would neither bring self-satisfaction nor redemption. Through his seething tone and imagery, Shakespeare demonstrates Hamlet’s extreme hatred of Claudius as well as the difficulty in pursuing internally satisfying revenge on one’s enemies. Upon seeing Claudius in prayer, Hamlet is fully prepared to murder him immediately. Claudius is alone and his guards are not around to protect him, providing Hamlet with a seemingly opportune time to quickly and efficiently enact his revenge, and Hamlet can barely contain his anticipation. In his sudden excitement, Hamlet loses his composure for an instant. The beginning of Hamlet’s soliloquy is characterized by choppy syntax and breaks from scansion that demonstrate his momentary loss of self-control as he exclaims, “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;/ And now I’ll do’t-and so he goes to heaven” (77-78). The repetition of “now” and “and” at the beginning of

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