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The complexity of action as well as the impossibility of certainty is prominently highlighted when it comes to discussing the execution of revenge by Hamlet, the protagonist in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The lack of self-confidence and hindrance of inaction of the protagonist distinguishes the play remarkably apart from other revenge plays in English literature. Shakespeare portrays Hamlet as an able yet reluctant hero who is characteristically more prone to apprehension than to action. This is the case of his dilemma: of realizing the truth behind his father’s murder followed by the ghostly encounter, of acknowledging the plan of revenge and yet choosing to postpone this action. This thin demarcation between action and inaction is prominently expressed in the innermost thoughts of Hamlets, what is more appropriately known as Hamlet’s soliloquies or his self-conversation.
Among the soliloquies of Hamlet in the play, the most debated one expressing the protagonist’s innermost projections is the “To be or not to be” soliloquy from Act III, Scene I of Hamlet. It most undoubtedly holds the central place of the entire discussion of action and inaction on the part of the protagonist for planning his ‘revenge’. Indeed the soliloquies speak of more action than does the protagonist himself. In Davies’ (2008) words,
“Hamlet is rarely more dynamic or on the move as a character than in the action of his soliloquies, which remain the vehicles for an unfolding ‘drama of thought’ throughout Hamlet rather than expressions of a fixed kind of ‘dramatized thinking’. In soliloquy, we have the Hamlet who is ready ‘to drink hot blood’ in Act III, Scene II, and yet who refuses to kill Claudius in Act III, Scene III; who knows not why he lives ‘to say this thing’s to do’ in Act IV, Scene IV, but even at this most hopeless point, implicitly recognizes that
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(“Hamlet essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words - 2”, n.d.)
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(Hamlet Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words - 2)
“Hamlet Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words - 2”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1668399-hamlet-essay.
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