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What are Hamlet's "crimes?"What are Hamlet's "crimes?"

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nani28 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 26, 2011 at 8:32 PM via web

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What are Hamlet's "crimes?"

What are Hamlet's "crimes?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2011 at 9:19 PM (Answer #2)

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I think that this in an interesting perspective on the troubled character.  I think that you might get many different takes on this.  In my mind, I think that that if Hamlet was to be "tried" for his "crimes," I would think that the bulk of his "criminal activity" would be in how he treated Ophelia.  There is a level of personal cruelty he displays towards Ophelia that can be considered a form of emotional abuse.  Ophelia really does not "ask" or "invite" Hamlet into her world.  He sort of intrudes upon it and then torments her, pitting her against family and even herself with his behavior and his contradictory impulses. The fact that Hamlet, in his already mentally discombobulated state, takes out his frustrations squarely on Ophelia is an abusive act, to say the least.  Her suicide is, in large part, to Hamlet's behavior, cruelty, and wonton disregard for her happiness.  I would say that if I were to "try" Hamlet for anything, it would be the manner in which he treats Ophelia and what he does to her.  While she might lack strength, Ophelia is living proof that the evil that Hamlet swears to avenge is something of which he is a regrettable part in what he has done to her.

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gradegrumber | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM (Answer #3)

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Killing Claudius

Killing Polonius

Accuses His Mother For Killing Hamlet

Cause of the phycological breakdown by Ophelia (maybe?)

Assasination of Guildstern and Rosencratz (posing as king)

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