, Research Paper
The Killing of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Hamlet’s own Philosophic view.
In terms of Hamlet’s own philosophic view, the killing of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is very out-of-character. Hamlet is an intellectual, and therefore believes that killing is not a necessary solution (this could also relate to why he hesitates so long at killing Claudius). He does this more out of anger and revenge than out of his own will and good judgement. As somewhat of a justification he says,
"Ere I could make a prologue to my brains,
They had begun the play-",
proving that, given time to think about his actions, he probably would not have done it.
Hamlet’s goal of Revenge
As far as his goals of revenge go; yes this was an act of personal vengeance for Hamlet, but it did nothing to aid in his ordered revenge of his father’s death. Although somewhat justifiable, as the two were conspiring with the king against him, their deaths were not very practical. It is, in fact, completely plausible that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern had no idea of the contents of the letters they carried, thus nullifying the whole point of the revenge put upon them, and putting the deaths of two innocents on Hamlet’s head. If they did know what the letters contained, however, it was one of Hamlet’s high points in the play. He actually accomplishes something instead of analyzing it to death, displaying the kind of action he should have taken towards killing Claudius.
In Terms of Today’s Moral Standards
Crimes of passion are the most common crimes that result in death and Hamlets actions displayed just that. He was anger driven, and blind to reason, reacting emotionally, without thinking too much about the end results or circumstances of his deed. This could personally, but not lawfully or morally justify the ordered murders.
In today’s moral standards killing people is wrong, plain and simple. Whether done directly or indirectly, as Hamlet did to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the death of another person is to be handled by the law, if anyone.