But heaven hath pleased it so, To punish me with this, and this with me, That I must be their scourge and minister.

Hmm. Interesting justification. Yes, yes, heaven made me do it. Heaven is punishing me by having me kill this guy. This dead guy is my punishment. Never mind the punishment this poor dead guy just experienced. Nor the punishment the dead guy will receive in this religion’s worldview given that he had no time to say his last rites.
But yeah, heaven is punishing you, guy who just killed someone, by making you kill someone. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
This is how many a sociopath justifies his ill deeds. All those cult leaders raping under-aged girls are convinced they’re doing God’s will. They are heaven’s minister, cleansing the earth of evil. It is classic, though.

On an episode of the You Are Not So Smart podcast  they talked about the amazing properties of the human brain to justify things after the fact. Like the psychologist who learned a bunch of cold reading techniques to try and debunk psychics and started to become convinced he was really psychic after a while, as he got better and better at reading people.
It took a magician to help him prove to himself that he wasn’t, in fact, psychic – but just very good at cold reading.
I think that’s what Hamlet’s doing here. He’s justifying his ass off. Convincing himself, probably even more than his mother.


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