Critics do not agree on the extent to which Shakespeare's treatment of revenge adheres to or diverges from the standards established by Kyd and others.
The conflict provides the exposition,suspense,climax and the catastrophe of the play.
In the case of Hamlet it is not otherwise. The play is built upon the long,tragic conflict between Hamlet and Claudius and the conflict is built upon the motif of revenge.
So,the driving force that shapes the turns of the plot of the play namely exposition,gradual development of the plot,the suspense,climax and the catastrophe of the play is the revenge,especially the revenge for the death of father. In the play Hamlet two of the character's fathers are brutishly murdered.
The first murdered character is King Hamlet who is supposed to be revenged by his son prince Hamlet. The second murder is Polonius who is supposed to be revenged by his son Laertes. Both Prince Hamlet and Laertes go to seek revenge for the death of fathers, however they will each use different methods to accomplish their deeds.
But the play in which the central action springs from the revenge motif is called the revenge tragedy,which shares some other typical features. So,before going further let us see what motivated Shakespeare write such a tragedy in which revenge takes the driving wheel.
At first,the writer was certainly influenced by his age. Hamlet is a play that very closely follows the dramatic conventions of revenge in Elizabethan theater. All revenge tragedies originally stemmed from the Greeks, who wrote and performed the first plays. After the Greeks came Seneca who was very influential to all Elizabethan tragedy writers,including William Shakespeare.
These two plays used mostly all of the Elizabethan conventions for revenge tragedies in their plays. Hamlet especially incorporated all revenge conventions in one way or another, which truly made Hamlet a typical revenge play. During the time of Elizabethan theater, plays about tragedy and revenge were very common and a regular convention seemed to be formed on what aspects should be put into a typical revenge tragedy.
Now let us discuss in details how the revenge motif helps to carry out the plot. Before introducing the revenge motif,the dramatist at first sets an appropriate setting.
In the beginning, Shakespeare sets up the scene, having a ghost on a dark night. Everyone is working and something strange is happening in Denmark. It is as if Shakespeare is saying that some kind of foul play has been committed.
This sets up for the major theme in the play which is of course revenge. The real tension of the play begins as soon as the ghost of the late king tells Hamlet about his murder.
Hamlet learns that his father's death was no mistake, but it was Hamlet's uncle's plan to murder him. The ghost also tells Hamlet that he has been given the role of the person who will take revenge upon Claudius. So,like a typical revenge tragedy ,in Hamlet a crime the killing of the king is committed and for various reasons laws and justice cannot punish the crime so the individual ,Hamlet proceeds on to take revenge in spite of everything.
He ponders his thoughts for a long period of time, expecting to do the deed immediately, but instead he drags it on until the end of the play.
The conflict of the play gets further development when Hamlet feigns to be insane. Thus,the revenge motif drives him to disguise himself as a mad. The tactic was a disadvantage in that it drew all attention upon himself.The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet (/ ˈ h æ m l ɪ t /), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between and Set in Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet's father, King Hamlet.
A summary of Themes in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Hamlet and what it means.
How to Write Literary Analysis; Suggested Essay Topics; How To Cite No Fear Hamlet; How to Cite This SparkNote it is intimately tied to the theme of revenge and justice—Claudius’s .
First performed around , Hamlet tells the story of a prince whose duty to revenge his father’s death entangles him in philosophical problems he can’t solve. Shakespeare’s best-known play is widely regarded as the most influential literary work ever written.
Read a character analysis of Hamlet, plot summary, and important quotes. Revenge in Shakespeare's Hamlet In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses revenge as a major theme present throughout the work.
Revenge plays a crucial role in the development of Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, and Laertes, son of Polonius. First performed around , Hamlet tells the story of a prince whose duty to revenge his father’s death entangles him in philosophical problems he can’t solve.
Shakespeare’s best-known play is widely regarded as the most influential literary work ever written. Read a character analysis of Hamlet, plot summary, and important quotes.
The desires of Hamlet, Laertes, and young Fortinbras each exhibit how the plot of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare revolves entirely around revenge. The theme of revenge starts off very early in the play, when Hamlet speaks with the ghost of his deceased father.