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Cameron Mattern

Mrs. Bradley

AP English 12

27 February 2017

Im Just a Ham and Life is a Nightmare

The primary conflict of the Shakespearean play Hamlet is Hamlets struggle with

whether or not he should kill his uncle, as the ghost of his father would want, despite the

strong bond they had previously shared. This conflict reaches its climax during Act III

Scene II when Hamlet has a play performed that both reveals to him that his uncle is

truly his fathers murderer, and reveals to his uncle that Hamlet knows what he has


In Act III Scene II, Hamlet reveals to Horatio his plan to observe [his] uncle

while watching a play in which his fathers death is recreated (line 85). Up until the play,

Hamlets plan to kill his uncle was not much more than that - a plan. However, with

Claudius discomfort at watching the play, Hamlet realizes that what his fathers ghost

told him was true. Claudius flees during the scene in which poison is poured in the

kings ear while Hamlet comments how the murderer soon gets the love of [the kings]

wife (line 290).

In the scene after this, Scene III, Hamlet comes closer to killing his uncle than he

ever has. He sees his uncle in the hallway praying and realizes that with his uncle

unaware, he could kill him right then and there. However, he realizes that were he to kill

his uncle now, he would be fit and seasoned for his passage to Heaven (line 91) while

his father was unable to go to Heaven because he was killed before having the chance
to pray. Although he does decide to put off killing his uncle, it is the first time he seems

to have been close to completing the act.

After realising that Hamlet knows of his deed, Claudius also shows a desire to be

rid of Hamlet. In Act Scene, he

The play in Scene II is what triggers Hamlet and Claudius race to kill one before

they are killed by the other. In this way, it is the turning point for the central conflict of the

story of Hamlet.