There are many theories to why Hamlet, who plays the prince in the tragedy, Hamlet, delays in killing his Uncle, King Claudius. Hamlet feels the need to murder King Claudius because he is convinced that his uncle is the cause of Hamlet's father's death. Even though the action of killing Claudius is not carried out until the very end it dictates Hamlets every move in the play. Though he does not know for sure that Claudius is his father's murderer, it is his obligation to prove that he is the cause of the death before committing this act. Hamlet is confused and is unsure if he should seek revenge and kill his uncle. Hamlet delays in killing his uncle not only because he might feel guilty, but because he want's to prove to everyone that King Claudius is in fact the murderer.
Besides the fact that Hamlet wants to prove that Claudius is responsible, his sanity delays Hamlet from killing Claudius. An apparition had appeared before Hamlets eyes and it is the ghost of the murdered father. 'Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.' (Act one, Scene five) The ghost explains how he was murdered and who murdered him. After the ghost departs, Hamlet decides if the ghost was real or not, and if it was an evil or good ghost. Hamlet then studies the situation and is set on the idea of avenging his father's death. While Hamlet delays murdering his uncle, he decides to put on a play and reenact the murder of his father.
He wants to see how Claudius will react to this and try to prove this own sanity. Claudius now understands that Hamlet knows exactly what happens and is nervous and feels guilty for what he did. Now that Hamlet has set Claudius up for him to kill, he finds him in church asking for forgiveness. This is when Hamlet again delays killing his uncle. 'A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send To heaven.' (Act 3, Scene 3).
He wants to kill Claudius while Claudius is committing a sin, and not make him a martyr. Hamlet is relieved now that the ghost he saw was telling the truth. The delay goes on, but only because he is now sent to England by Claudius. Hamlet is clever and switches notes. Hamlet now wants to kill Claudius because he feels that he knows now why Claudius had killed his brother and does not need to delay anymore.
In the Final scene, Hamlet does kill Claudius, but he also dies because of the poison on the tip of the sword that he was slashed by. Not only did Hamlet delay murdering his Uncle, he was suffering from psychological of what he wanted to do. With questions of his own sanity and feelings about family. Contemplating whether the ghost was real or not. Understanding the point of why Claudius killed Hamlet's Father. All of these add up to delaying in the murder of his Uncle.
Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Cyrus Hoy. 2 nd ed.
New York: Norton, 1992. U fema, Kate. Hamlet. Movie. 1991.