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Tragedy of Revenage in Shakespeare´s Hamlet

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Hamlet final

Revenge causes the downfall of many people. Its consuming nature causes one to act recklessly through emotion of anger and not reason. Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest play and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature. The plays is capable of engaging the audience through the many displays of vindictiveness. The play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is primarily a tragedy of revenge as the characters Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras all seek vengeance for their fathers' deaths, which leads to chaos.

At the beginning of Hamlet, the audience is already aware of a tragedy when the king of Denmark dies. The death of prince Hamlet’s father, king Hamlet, is the source of his thirst for revenge throughout the entire play. As the play progresses, Hamlet has an encounter with his father's ghost, leading Hamlet to believe that his uncle Claudius is responsible for his father's death, "And so I am revenged. That would be scann’d:/ A villain kills my father; and, for that,/ I, his sole son, do this same villain send/ To heaven." (act 3, scene 3). In this passage, Hamlet states that since he is his father's only son, it is up to him to avenge his father's murder. Moreover, Hamlet struggles with his doubts about whether he can trust the ghost and whether killing Claudius is the correct course of action. However, quickly after Hamlet's father dies, Claudius succeeds the throne by wedding Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. This precipitous event makes Hamlet furious. These triggers lead Hamlet to plan to kill Claudius however, he is indecisive about when to commit the murder. He begins to pretend he is mad, so he can plot against Claudius without anyone becoming suspicious. As the play unfolds, Hamlet's procras...

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...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. Without vengeance and tragedy, the play would not have its gripping sense of adventure and anticipation. William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, is a dramatic and effective presentation of the tragedy of revenge.

Work Cited
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square-Pocket, 1992.
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