Hamlet’s problem is not exact; it cannot be pinpointed. In fact, Hamlet has numerous problems that contribute to his dilemma. The first of these problems is the appearance of King Hamlet’s ghost to his son, Hamlet. Hamlet’s morality adds a great deal to his delay in murdering the current king, Claudius. One of Hamlet’s biggest drawbacks is that he tends to think things out too much. Hamlet does not act on instinct; however, he makes certain that every action is premeditated. Hamlet suffers a great deal from melancholy; this in turn causes him to constantly second guess himself. The Ghost is the main cause of Hamlet’s melancholy. Also, Hamlet’s melancholy helps to clear up certain aspects of the play. These are just a few of the problems that Hamlet encounters throughout his ordeal.
The last of Hamlet’s problems stem from his relationships with the people close to him. Hamlet suffers from an Oedipus complex. Hamlet’s relationship with Ophelia also causes him grief. All of the problems that Hamlet encounters make him question nobility. These ideas all add to the lack of haste in Hamlet’s murder of Claudius.
The appearance of the ghost to Hamlet causes him much confusion. As Dodsworth states, “Hamlet regards the Ghost as eminently ‘questionable’ (43), that is, ‘which invites question’ as Jenkins has it, but more pertinently ‘uncertain, doubtful'”(Dodsworth 58). Hamlet does not know whether or not to listen to the ghost. If it is indeed the ghost of Hamlet senior Hamlet is obligated to follow his orders, “It is as he is flesh of his flesh that Hamlet is bound (by ‘nature’) to act on his father’s behalf” (Dodsworth 59). In conclusion, the appearance of the eminently is the beginning of Hamlet’s problems.
Morality is the next big challenge that Hamlet faces. Hamlet needs to morally justify the murder of the king to himself before he can go through with it, “Hamlet was restrained by conscience or a moral scruple; he could not satisfy himself that it was right to avenge his father”(Bradley 80). This idea connects directly with the idea that Hamlet thinks too much.
Although Hamlet does not act on instinct; he does understand what it is telling him to do, “Even when he doubts, or thinks he doubts, the honesty of the Ghost, he expresses no doubt as to what his duty will be if the Ghost turns out to be honest” (Bradley 80).
Free Hamlet Essays: Father and Son in Hamlet
Father and Son in Hamlet
Although they may exhibit some similar traits, all fathers and sons are individuals. They are, or will become, their own man. This development is based on life experience, which is never the same for any two people. In the case of King and Prince Hamlet, this also holds true.
King Hamlet must have been a good father for his son to be so devoted and loyal to him. It almost seems that the Prince made an idol of his father. In Prince Hamlet’s first soliloquy he described his father as an excellent king, a god-like figure and a loving husband. It is strange that the Prince did not convey information about being a loving father. It is left for us to infer that there must have been a special bond between father and son for the Prince to be so willing to carry out retribution against his father’s murderer. Hamlet describes his father in this way:
“See, what a grace was seated on his brow:/ Hyperions curls, the front of Jove himself,/ An eye like Mars, to threaten or command/ A station like the herald Mercury” (Act III,scene IV,55-59)
Prince Hamlet feels a great obligation to carry out the direction of the ghost of his father to avenge his father’s death. Here we see a bit of his conflict. Since there doesn’t seem to be much description of interaction of King and Prince, it is left to us to decide if Hamlet loved his father or he has agreed to avenge the death of his father due to a sense of filial duty.
After the Prince has killed Polonius, the spirit of King Hamlet reappears for the 2nd time to the Prince when he is condemning his mother for her misdeeds. It almost seems like the ghost is acting just like most fathers. He seems to be prodding a too slow child. The ghost reminds Hamlet that he has promised to get revenge for the King’s death.
Prince Hamlet does seem to feel conflict in carrying out the charge. When and how to act and how fast are questions that appear in his mind. What was Prince Hamlet like? In Act III scene 1 (158-162) Ophelia describes him, before his father’s death, as an accomplished man.
“O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!/ The courtier’s, soldier’s scholar’s eye, tongue, sword;/ The expectancy and rose of the fair state,/ The glass of fashion and the mold of form,/ The observ’d of all observers, quite, quite down!