Act 3 Scene 3 Hamlet Summary


Act 3 Scene 3 of Shakespeare's play "Hamlet" is a crucial scene in which Hamlet has an opportunity to kill his uncle Claudius, but ultimately decides against it.

The scene begins with Claudius at prayer, confessing his sins to God and asking for forgiveness. Hamlet enters the room and sees Claudius alone and vulnerable. He draws his sword and considers killing him, but hesitates, thinking that if he kills Claudius while he is praying, his soul will go to heaven, which would defeat the purpose of seeking revenge.

Hamlet decides to wait for a better opportunity to kill Claudius, one where he is engaged in sinful activity so that he will go to hell. As he leaves the room, Claudius rises from prayer, feeling guilty and unsure of his own redemption.

Throughout the scene, Hamlet reflects on his own procrastination and inaction, criticizing himself for not taking action sooner. He also contemplates the nature of revenge, wondering if it is truly justifiable and if it ultimately leads to more harm than good.

The scene ends with Hamlet deciding to delay his revenge until he can be sure that it will be effective and just, rather than acting impulsively and potentially causing more harm than good.

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