Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Was Hamlets revenge jusified? I have to write a short essay on how Hamlets was or was not justified. Any ideas on what I could elaborate on?

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Certainly, Claudius deserves some significant punishment for the murder he committed. It's bad enough that he murders someone, but the fact that he murders his brother, and so dishonorably (while his victim sleeps), and before old King Hamlet has had a chance to confess and atone for his sins (so that he must go to Purgatory—not a fun place). Does this justify Prince Hamlet's revenge? It is unlikely that Claudius would be caught and punished, and so it one might argue that it is just for someone to punish him.

However, according to Hamlet's religious beliefs, Claudius will be punished for his sins by God after death; his afterlife will not be a picnic, and it will be forever. According to these beliefs, it isn't really Hamlet's place to judge and punish his uncle. Then, when you consider how very many people die as a result of Hamlet's revenge—Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern , his mother—it seems not only unnecessary and sacrilegious but so terribly destructive and...

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