• Revenge in 'Hamlet' - ThoughtCo
  • What is the role of revenge in Hamlet
  • Introduction to Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy and Hamlet

In Shakespeare's "Hamlet," Hamlet is seeking revenge against claudius for the murder of his father.

From this point of view, Hamlet is not completely a revenge tragedy.

Loving Hamlet, she cannot hate him or take revenge upon him.

In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, this is the unfortunate tragedy the Prince of Denmark faces.
Hamlet is called to his revenge "by heaven and hell", i.e.,something that Shakespeare thought of asmore fundamental than "the struggle betweengood and evil".

He seeks revenge, eagerly conspiring with Claudius against Hamlet.

Teenaged Holden Caulfield("Catcher in the Rye") described the shamsof the "phony" society of the wealthy, and heard Hamlet had talkedabout the same theme.


First, in any person's life, acts of revenge are infrequent.

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-- for comparison.
-- for comparison.
"Antonio's Revenge" by John Marston, is mentioned bya contemporary source as 1601,and has a very similar plot to Shakespeare's "Hamlet".

Hamlet talks a great deal aboutthe nature of human beings, characterizes himself as"indifferent[ly] honest" and "could accuse" himself of things forwhich it would have been better if he hadn't been born.

Revenge can be interpreted as a separate character in Hamlet.

Thomas Nashe wrote in 1589 in his introduction to abook by Robert Greene, "English Seneca read by candlelightyields many good sentences -- as 'Blood is a beggar'and so forth; and if you entreat him fair on a frosty morninghe will offer you whole Hamlets, I should say handfuls,of tragical speeches!" Nashe is mostly spoofing ThomasKyd, who wrote blood-and-thunder revenge plays.

The theme of revenge is depicted in many works of literature.

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"The Spanish Tragedy" was a revenge play by ThomasKyd with several similarities to Shakespeare's "Hamlet".

The theme of deceit is often repeated in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Ammelhede exists to this very day, and in 1933 thelocal tourist board put up a stone with this memorial inscription:"Amled ypperste / Oldtids-snille / teed sig tåbe /Til H‘vnens time / Kaaret paating / Af jyder til konge/ H jsat han hviler / Paa Ammel Hede" ( = "Amledthe greatest / Craftiest of Old / Acted a fool / Until the hour ofrevenge / Elected at the "Ting" / by Jutes to be king / raised high he rests /at Ammel Heath" [my translation]) So next time you visit Denmark, stopby Ammelhede, a few miles to the south-east of Randers -- don't eventhink about visiting the bogus 'Hamlet's Grave' between Elsinore andCopenhagen!

It is described as atragedy with a ghost crying "Hamlet, revenge!".

Again, this is the themeof sincerity.)Hamlet already had a pretty good idea of whatthe English trip was all about, so his having a copy of the royalseal, and some wax and paper, is no surprise (as he already indicatedat the end of the bedroom scene.) Surprisingly, Hamlet talks aboutreading and changing the letters on an impulse, and has a famous line, "There's a divinity that shapes our ends / Rough-hewthem how we will." Rough-hew was to carve the basics of awoodcarving or sculpture, with the fine-shaping to follow.

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(In Shakespeare's era, a monarch was called by the name of his countryfor short.) Shakespeare's heroes all develop as people, andmany people (myself included) dislike Hamlet's attitudetoward women as evidenced in the first half of the play.