In Hamlet, what softens our realization that Hamlet is responsible for the deaths of Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, Rosencratz, Guildentern, Claudius, and Gertrude?  

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Well, you could argue that Gertrude was more the result of the schemes of Claudius than Hamlet. You are right to lay the responsibility for the death of the other characters at Hamlet's door however. I suppose there are two ways of looking at this issue. One is to say that actually Hamlet is a very nasty, cold-hearted killer who deserves what he gets precisely because he shows himself to be more of a sinner than sinned against. In particular, this can be displayed through his coldhearted and manipulative murder of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern . They were really doing...

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