Looking at the play Hamlet and the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", one could deduct that the main characters are similar in several ways. One of the character flaws Hamlet is known for is his indecisiveness. J. Alfred Prufrock also deals with this same foible just as much, or more, than Hamlet does. Hamlet and Prufrock have three major things in common: they question and rationalize their situations, as well as procrastinate.
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, questioning, procrastination and rationalization define Hamlet's character. Hamlet is a very analytical person: he carefully plans and thoroughly questions his actions. Hamlet has a way of dealing with his problems. First he questions the situation, rationalizes, and then procrastinates. An example of Hamlet's questioning becomes evident in Act 3, Scene 3, when Hamlet is in the Chapel with Claudius. Hamlet is in the prime position to kill him. Then, he questions if he should: "Now might I do it pat, now he is a-praying. / And now I'll do't" (Shakespeare 3.3.76-79). Hamlet then rationalizes why he should kill Claudius now. His reason is because he is doing a good deed by killing Claudius, for he is a villain. Next, Hamlet procrastinates, putting off the killing of his uncle:.
To take him in the purging of his soul,.
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?.
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent:.
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage (Shakespeare 3.3.89-93).
J. Alfred Prufrock also engaged in the same actions. He also questions, rationalizes and procrastinates, but in a slightly different order. Prufrock questions, procrastinates, then rationalizes. Prufrock questions his whole existence as well as the people at the party. Prufrock fears that the people at the party will not accept him. Prufrock procrastinates because he fears rejection and is not confident enough to speak out. He sees the people as shallow, "Known them already, known them all" (Eliot 49).