The Nature of Evil in William Shakespeare's Hamlet
By trying to figure out whether or not Claudius is guilty, Hamlet shows that he is trying to cause the least damage possible and does not want to kill those who do not deserve it. A truly evil person would not care whether or not their victim was innocent, as is the case with Claudius. Unfortunately, Hamlet becomes tangled up in his thoughts and emotions and causes more problems than he intends to; primarly when Hamlet and his mother are talking and Hamlet attacks Polonius who is hiding behind an arras. The attack kills Polonius, who Hamlet initially thought was Claudius. While some may consider this to be evil, Hamlet recognizes the event as a tragic accident:
A bloody deed. Almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king and marry with his brother...
Thou wretched, rash intruding fool, farewell.
I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.
By comparing the murder of Polonius to the murder of his father, Hamlet acknowledges that what he has done is wrong but unfortunately this does not allow him to escape the repercussions which follow. Killing Polonius is the biggest mistake that Hamlet makes in the play, turning Laertes against him and leading to the death of both himself and Ophelia. Although Hamlet can be seen as unnaturally cruel many times throughout the