One of the things that I wondered upon most in my reading of acts I through III was the reasoning behind Hamlet's inaction against Claudius. The murder of his father plagues his mind, and he very obviously has a lot a hatred towards Claudius that could be used to fuel some type of revenge, but he fails to act. I was most surprised that even after Hamlet is struck by the player's ability to act on false feeling, he was still unable to act upon his own very real emotions. Although he did act by finally confiding in his mother, he makes no real move towards confronting the king himself.
I was sure that Hamlet's reaction to the players would have him moving towards some form of action against Claudius in Act IV, but instead I found another very interesting comparison of action and inaction in the scene. While on his way to the ship to England, Hamlet runs into Fortenbras, who is on his way to Poland. They engage in a discussion about Fortenbras's planned attack against Poland, and Hamlet asks what exactly the battle will be over. Fortenbra replies that they will be fighting over "a little patch of land/ That hath in it no profit but the name" (Act IV scene iv). This struck me because of it's similarity to the comparison presented by the players. Fortenbras represents action, but his actions are motivated by seemingly nothing of any significance. All it takes is a patch of unimportant land for Fortenbras to move into a dangerous and violent battle against Poland. This is probably a place that not many care about, and yet lives will be lost just to gain its possession.
On the other hand, Hamlet have every reason in the world to move into action, but instead represents inaction throughout the play. His cause and motivation is very significant, and yet he is, for some reason, not acting out to get revenge on Claudius.
I am curious to see if making this comparison himself, Hamlet will finally become proactive in his revenge against Claudius. Maybe this was just the spark he needed to finally do something, or maybe this is just another comparison to shine light on Hamlet's inability to act at all in the play.