Revenge in Hamlet In Elizabethan times, a type of play known as a "revenge tragedy" became popular. These plays revolved around, "... the revenge of a father for a son or vice versa, the revenge being directed by the ghost of the murdered man..." (Harmon and Holman #6). Other characteristics include real or pretend insanity, philosophic soliloquies, hesitation on the part of the protagonist, conspiracy, and the use of horror. William Shakespeare's Hamlet fully satisfies each of these traits, making it an excellent example of a revenge tragedy. Certainly, the most critical theme in the play by far is that of revenge; it fuels the plot and story of Hamlet, reveals the hamartia of the protagonist, and is used successfully to develop some of the main characters.
William Shakespeare’s original play Hamlet sinfully mirrors how our society acts today. A dark tale of revenge peppered with violence and murder can be used to summarise the main theme of Hamlet. Hamlets loyalty to his farther to “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder,” results in not only Hamlet’s madness but also a mass-murdering spree. This revenge filled violence is relevant in today’s society of mass media. Hamlet is extremely relevant to us.
This tragedy starts with the main character Princess Hamlet and his Uncle Claudius. Claudius is the antagonist in this play and starts all of the drama. Claudius is the reason why hamlet is trying to seek revenge. Other characters are trying to seek revenge throughout the entirety of the play also. Shakespeare in the play Hamlet, is trying to make this a play on revenge between many characters and also show the insecurities of Hamlet as he tries to seek revenge.
Shakespeare enforces this idea by having Hamlet deal with three different revenge stories, all having to do with a son avenging his father. First there is hamlet wanting revenge on Claudius, then Laertes wants revenge on hamlet and last Fortinbras wants revenge on all of Denmark. These three stories all develop and produce the major theme of revengeful actions never having the best outcomes. The first and most important story of revenge is Hamlet wanting to kill his Uncle Claudius, after Claudius kills Hamlets father. Shakespeare begins the whole idea of revenge very early in the story when the ghost comes and tells Hamlet of what his uncle has done.
Throughout the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, themes make up very important ingredients for the entire play. The most prominent and important theme is Revenge. Some Shakespeare critics may argue that guilt is the most important theme. However revenge is the most important theme and the reader sees this through revenge advancing the plot, the idea of seeking vengeance allows the reader to learn more about characters, foreshadowing of characters deaths and in the end seeking vengeance causes the majority of main characters deaths. Some Shakespeare critics may argue that guilt is the most important theme in the play Hamlet.
Of course, who could forget the famous ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, where Hamlet not only questions life and death, but many of life’s other uncertainties as well. Undoubtedly, the most essential theme in the development of Hamlet is revenge and question ‘Does revenge pay?’ Revenge is a frighteningly bloodthirsty emotion, which causes people to act blindly and without reason. Revenge is a theme that is cleverly built upon throughout the extent of the play; with it being the driving force behind two of the main characters in the play. The play is introduced by the appearance of the ghost of Hamlet’s father in the first scene, which automatically gives the impression that something is amiss. This is later clarified by the statement that “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Act1 Scene 4 Line 90).
“Hamlet,” Critical Essay Alexander Pope believed that, “to be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves.” I think this is pertinent to “Hamlet,” by William Shakespeare because the main character is portrayed to bring great mental suffering upon himself in his search for revenge. Shakespeare enhances the reader’s appreciation of the play by effectively conveying its theme of revenge through characterization and plot in addition to other literary techniques. “Hamlet,” tells the story of a Danish prince who aims to avenge his father’s murder after his ghost appears before Hamlet and reveals that he was murdered by his own brother. To Hamlet’s disgust, his uncle, Claudius, has stolen Hamlet’s place as King by marrying the prince’s mother, Gertrude. In Hamlet’s search for the truth, he makes the fatal error of stabbing Polonius, the King’s advisor.
Basically, this type of play consists of a murder that has to be avenged by a relative of the victim (DiYanni 1394). Ultimately, the play is about a son that is called upon by the ghost of his father to avenge his death. On the surface, the play about Hamlet may appear to be a typical revenge tragedy. However, crime, madness, ghostly anguish, poison, overheard conversations, conspiracies, and a final scene littered with corpses: Hamlet subscribes to the basic ingredients of the formula, but it also transcends the conventions of revenge tragedy because Hamlet contemplates not merely revenge but suicide and the meaning of life itself (DiYanni 1394). There are three crucial points in the plot in which Hamlet expresses his particular thoughts and positions.
In this essay I will be writing about whether Hamlet is a revenge tragedy or not, I will have an introduction which will introduce the meaning of a revenge tragedy, then I will have a main body of text in which I will explain why Hamlet is a true revenge tragedy and finally I will have a conclusion. “What is a revenge tragedy?” Well a revenge tragedy is when a character takes vengeance for a murdered victim, the character is usually a family member of the avenged victim. A Revenge tragedy conventionally results in the death of both the murderer and avenger. This type of play was very popular during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. In order for a tragedy to be labelled as a revenge tragedy it needs to have certain components and characters
As the play unfolds, Hamlet's procras... ... middle of paper ... ...ge his father. A Shakespearean revenge tragedy builds upon a central conflict which runs from the beginning to the ending of the play until the conflict is finally resolved. Some basic elements in a revenge tragedy include: a play within a play, mad scenes, a vindictive ghost, a few gory scenes and, most importantly, a main character with a strong grievance against a daunting opponent. The plot in Hamlet provides the characters with strong desires for vengeance. This results in a powerful portrayal of murder and disaster.