How do Hamlet's motives in killing Claudius seem to have shifted according to his speech beginning, "Does it not, think thee . . ."?

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In Hamlet's brief interjection, his motive for killing Claudius changes imperceptibly from the dictates of duty to those of morality. He starts off by asking Horatio if he thinks it's his duty to kill Claudius. He then goes on to provide reasons as to why he should carry out his duty. (Claudius killed old King Hamlet, ruined Gertrude's integrity, stole a throne to which he wasn't entitled, and so on.)

Then there's a subtle shift: Hamlet asks Horatio whether it would be completely moral to kill Claudius and do so with a good conscience. It's as if Hamlet is still unsure whether he's really duty-bound to kill Claudius after all. It seems that he needs a much stronger justification for bumping off his wicked uncle and stepfather. More to the point, he clearly implies that he would be acting immorally if he didn't kill...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 430 words.)

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