Procrastination in Hamlet

Hamlet essay
Procrastination is one of Hamlet’s most notable characteristics. It is an attribute that is both to be admired and scorned.

Hamlet seeks revenge for his father’s murder by Claudius.   He waits a long time from the revelation by the ghost of what happened to get his revenge – he goes over every action in his mind, looking at every detail from every possible angle.
Hamlet has the perfect opportunity to take revenge while Claudius is at prayer. Yet he will not murder him while he is purging his soul! If he is going to do this he feels he should do it correctly leading him to further procrastination. He doesn’t want to kill Claudius while he is asking for forgiveness because his soul will go to heaven, rather   than to hell where the soul of a murderer should go.   This is a negative side of Hamlet’s procrastination. He misses the only real opportunity to exact his revenge and attain his goal. By his procrastination the unnecessary deaths of Polonius, Ophelia, Gertrude and Laertes occur – and even Hamlet himself dies. ,

So, Hamlet does delay but only to wait until the right moment comes. This is what’s behind his “procrastination” in the church. Until he has the proof, he must be patient. This patience is the positive side of Hamlet’s so-called procrastination.   He is held back from being impulsive. His words in church, then, are not at an excuse for delay when he says that he must wait for the right moment to kill Claudius, an act that “has no relish of salvation in’t”. So Hamlet speaks to himself in attempt to force himself not to use violence, but to be patient. So, instead of showing a flaw in the church, Hamlet shows virtue, his prudent patience. He is now absolutely determined in his plan and all of his actions are directed towards one accomplishment - to justly punish the one who murdered his father.

One reason for the procrastination is that for a long time Hamlet couldn't decide if the Ghost was really his father or some sort of evil...