Analysis of Hamlet’s Character
    
      
        Shakespeare’s title character, Hamlet, is revealed as overly analytical and indecisive through his attempts to avenge his father’s death. Throughout the play, Hamlet is overwhelmed by his feeling of revenge but hesitates in the murder of Claudius due to his fear of making the wrong decision. Hamlet is held back by his excessive consideration of religious morals and beliefs and his fear of completing his knowledge with action. Hamlet’s thoughts and actions are windows into this mindset. This indecisiveness is a part of Hamlet’s character for most of the play, but he eventually undergoes a change in his attitude after returning from his voyage to England. He begins to exhibit an intention of immediate bloody revenge on Claudius.
        One hindrance to Hamlet’s ability to execute actions is his religious reasoning. He often thinks about the afterlife and the quality of a person’s afterlife according to his situation at the moment of death. He himself contemplates committing suicide and wishes that “the Everlasting had not fix’d/ His cannon ‘gainst self- slaughter!”(Act I/Scene II). This shows a struggle within Hamlet. While he detests the conditions of his life and wishes he could end it, he concludes that he would rather continue living in “an unweeded garden” than live in hell as a consequence of suicide (Act I/Scene II). In the same way, Hamlet wants to avenge his father’s death yet desires to carry it out in a moral and accepting way. Hamlet’s awareness of morals is apparent, but there is an obvious impossibility of murdering Claudius within these morals. It is this form of consideration that allows Hamlet’s indecisiveness to be seen in his character.
        Hamlet’s intent to uphold his father’s request becomes questionable with his delay in the murder of Claudius. Hamlet is given the perfect opportunity to kill Claudius, but he feels that Claudius is not in an appropriate state for his death. Claudius seems to be praying for forgiveness when Hamlet finds this opportunity, and Hamlet feels that if he murdered him during prayer, he would dishonor his father by sending Claudius to heaven. Hamlet says, “A villain kills my father, and for that,/ I, his sole son, do this same villain send/ To heaven (Act III/Scene III). He lacks focus on the primary goal presented to him by his father’s spirit and tends to over think, showing a weakness in Hamlet.
        Hamlet experiences a change in attitude upon his return from his uncompleted voyage to England. He begins to burn with passion and anger against Claudius for his father’s death. By recognizing that he has been caught up in thought and not action, he realizes that reason is no good with idleness. Hamlet knows he must begin taking chances and focusing on revenge. He reveals his serious intent to end his indecisiveness when he proclaims, “O, from this time forth/ My thoughts be bloody ore be nothing worth” (Act IV/Scene V). This represents Hamlet’s sincere intention to focus completely on the death of Claudius. He yearns for all of his thoughts to be on this one achievement. It is this change in his standpoint that allows him to seek full revenge for this father’s death despite the consequences that may follow. He acts out of pure revenge and finds himself to be successful in his intentions.
        While Hamlet is a frustrating character full of too much thought and not enough action, in the end, he is successful in overcoming this flaw. He realizes the error of his ways through hearing others speak of the honor they upheld by either revenge or war. Hamlet becomes aware that his indecisiveness is due to a lack of determination to put every aspect of his life aside and focus solely on what his father instructed.