Revenge And Revenge Tragedy By William Shakespeare Essay examples

819 Words Nov 28th, 2014 4 Pages
Revenge and Revenge Tragedy Revenge tragedies became popular in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Hamlet, one of the most loved and well-known Elizabethan revenge tragedies, was written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1600-1601. One characteristic of a revenge tragedy is the supernatural. The supernatural element in Hamlet is the ghost of the former king of Denmark. Initially, the ghost is seen at night by guards of the kingdom. After seeing the ghost twice, the guards inform Horatio, Prince Hamlet’s best friend, that they have seen a ghost that resembles the former king. Horatio does not believe the guards’ story, so they invite him to sit with them during a night shift so that he can witness the ghost for himself. Soon after midnight, the ghost shows himself. The ghost’s form is “fair and warlike” (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 45), wearing the same armor he wore to fight the king of Norway. Another reason Hamlet is considered a revenge tragedy is the element of insanity. In Hamlet’s case, it is feigned insanity. After Hamlet discovers that his father was murdered by his uncle Claudius, he decides to put on an “antic disposition” (1, 5, 173). Another characteristic of a revenge tragedy is murder. Although it is not shown, the audience discovers that the king of Denmark has recently been murdered. Later in the play, Hamlet murders Ophelia’s father, Polonius, by accident when he mistakes him for Claudius. Due to Hamlet’s insane behavior throughout the…

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