It is evident that in writing “Hamlet”, Shakespeare, to some extent, adopted the dramatic tradition of Revenge tragedy. Revenge implies the wronged individual taking the law into his own hands in order to satisfy an inner passion though in civilized society, this function of punishing the wrong doer is entrusted to the government or the state. The motive of revenge is a primitive emotion to be found in natural man, though it is a dangerous emotion. Revenge proved a popular theme for dramatists for it enabled them to depicthuman passions, render rhetorical speeches, and present violent action. The dramatic valueof these fighters was great in the secular theatre. Early dramatists are as well as early audiences considered vengeance to be a pious duty laid on the next of kin; it was wild justice, but for drama to be satisfactory and successful.The old law claimed an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, vengeance demanded boththe eyes, a jaw full of teeth, and above all, the victim should go straight to hell there toremain in everlasting torment. A perfect revenge required, therefore, a great artistry. Thetheme of earlier tragedies of revenge was the punishment of an evil doer through some onewho had suffered because of him.Revenge tragedy is especially associated with the name of Seneca, an ancient Romandramatist. All the ten tragedies written by him deal with incidents taken from Greek mythology. But, instead of exercising the restraint of classical Greek tragedy, Senecaproduced the tragic effect by horrifying incidents, bloody actions and ranting speeches. Therevenge theme was very popular during the Elizabethan age. The revenge theme deals withexciting plots which arouse the people’s emotional excitement. Such plots are found in therevenge tragedy, and they have an immediate appeal for the audience. Hence Shakespeare,in his play “Hamlet” adopted the dramatic tradition of the revenge tragedy. During theElizabethan era, the Greek and Latin classics were of much interest. Kyd’s “The SpanishTragedy” and Shakespeare’s own “Titus Andronicus” are the best examples of thedramatic use of this revenge theme in the early Elizabethan age.The chief features of the revenge tragedy are the following:1. It deals with crime, usually murder, with varying motives.2. The duty of vengeance is laid on the next of kin or near relative.3. Invariably, a ghost is involved, generally the ghost of the dead, which reveals the crimecommitted and lays upon the hero the duty of avenging the murder.4. The duty is accepted as something sacred.5. There is much blood- shed and crude physical horrors and when the murder is avenged,the avenger and all others closely concerned perish together in one gory ruin.6. The language is generally astounding and bombastic.Hamlet, no doubt confirms to the tradition of revenge play in the light of these points.Hamlet is enjoined by his father’s ghost with the duty of avenging his father’s death. Whenit finds him inactive, it appears again to whet his action and exhort to a speedy revenge, asit says:“Do not forget. This visitationIs but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.”He considers the entrusted work of the ghost as something sacred but he also thinks aboutthe action required of him. Hence he avenges the murder at the cost of his own life as wellas the lives of many others. Thus revenge becomes the central theme of “Hamlet” and thesupernatural element is fully exploited.The theme of revenge is extended beyond the main character. There are other revengesalso. Fortinbras wants to take revenge on Denmark, for the losses sustained by his father ina duel with Hamlet’s father. Laertes too seeks to avenge his father’s death and the insanityof his loving sister Ophelia. He succeeds in punishing the murderer at the cost of his ownlife. Hamlet wants to take revenge against Claudius, the murderer of his father, theusurper of his rights to the throne and the seducer of his mother. He too avenges the death
and you make yourself another (William Shakespeare). Two faced people are known to act one way around certain people and then another way around others. They tend to present an appearance that is quite opposite in their real intention. Going against what god has given you often leads to death. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, duplicity leads to downfall. Among the play Hamlet, there are many two-faced characters that all end up dying. Characters such as Hamlet, Claudius, Polonius, Rosencrantz…
Shakespeare's time the Elizabethan era evil had a similar, but somewhat altered connotation in the human mind. Evil was an entity that violated the English Christian monarchial tradition. Therefore, a man such as Claudius, from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, a cold-blooded murderer and a ruthless manipulator, who uses "rank" deeds to usurp the thrown is in direct violation with the Elizabethan societal norms, and hence he is an evil character.
In the Elizabethan era, the royal crown was viewed as…
AP Literature 2A
February 24, 2015
In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet there are two main women characters Ophelia and Gertrude. Is it simply a coincidence that these women, the only women in the play end up letting themselves go crazy, and are continually manipulate, controlled, and taken advantage of by the male characters in the play? Is it really coincidental that when ophelia's love is taken away from her that she goes mad, and when Gertrude is suddenly without a husband…
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a prince is forced to take drastic action once he discovers that his beloved father was murdered by his treacherous uncle. In the first passage given (Act I, scene v), Hamlet is reacting to this horrible news given to him by a ghost that resembles his late father. In the second passage given (Act II scene ii) Hamlet is developing a plan to explore the truth behind the ghost’s claims. While these passages may have completely different contexts and purposes,…
English 12 (2)
30 November 2012
Language of a Soliloquy
William Shakespeare is a man with whom most of the world is well acquainted. His intelligence and wit allowed him to pioneer some of the most common literary techniques used today. Shakespeare used a common structure to each of his plays. The plays consisted of five acts. In the first act, Shakespeare would introduce the setting and direct the audience’s attention to the source of the dramatic tension. The second…
July 8th 2014
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, women are known as representing utensil’s because they are always depended on men. Men very easily influence them and they never seem to defend themselves. King Hamlet was killed by a “snake bite”, which left Gertrude as a widowed queen. She was not able to function without a man by her side; she needed a man that was able to for fill her needs. Gertrude then married King Hamlets brother Claudius; therefore…
“To be or not to be, that is the question”- when uttered this quote resounds with many individuals all around the world. It is the words of young prince Hamlet uttered at a time of utter despair as he questions whether or not to take his own life. Even though the play was produced hundreds of years ago it is still read and performed in schools, institutions and homes all across the world. One begins to wonder what is the magic or enticement of literature that some would call…
disturbed by it.
Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare that has a disturbing ending due to Hamlets actions. Hamlet is a young prince in Denmark, who is looking to avenge his father’s death by killing Claudius, the new king of Denmark. Claudius murdered Old Hamlet to become the king. Once old Hamlet was dead, Claudius, Hamlets Uncle, Married Gertrude to become king.
At the end of the play, Hamlet has a duel with Laertes. This is surprising to the reader as Laertes and Hamlet used to be good…
Ghosts, murder, and revenge
William Shakespeare, widely known for his magical yet mysterious way of writing was exposed often in the story of “Hamlet”. From the very beginning, readers are intrigued by the first appearances of the Ghost. From then on, the play transitions into a detective based story in hopes of Hamlet finding the un answered questions to his father’s death. As many characters try to achieve vengeance, many lives were lost as revenge began to take over. Shakespeare’s…
Dr. Julie Sloan Brannon
9 October 2014
Gertrude from Hamlet
Gertrude was Hamlet's mother. She was Queen of Denmark. Gertrude seemed to be a person who cared more about herself than her family. In this essay, we discuss the three characters of Gertrude. The first character is from the play by William Shakespeare, the second is the character as portrayed in the movie which starred Mel Gibson as Hamlet and the third is the character Gertrude as portrayed in the movie which starred…