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Hamlet Revenge is Not the Most Important Theme

Uploaded by xsparklyvix on Sep 05, 2005

]‘If thou didst ever thy dear father love
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder’
‘In spite of the ghost’s injunction, to a modern audience revenge doesn’t provide the main interest of the play’.]


‘Hamlet’ is a play categorized by its nature as a Revenge Tragedy, a categorization that was established in the 16th century at its primary production at the Globe Theatre, London. Yet, To a modern audience the idea of a revenge tragedy is no longer the main appeal. The development of characters, the mystery of death and the question over Hamlet’s madness have become the new interest in the production. However, the play would cease to exist without its revengeful roots, which lured the audience in Shakespearean time making it so popular today. I believe it is a combination of the subplots and revenge that continue to enthrall the contemporary viewer.

In the 16th century, in ‘Hamlet’s’ first production, the ambiance and the cast being difficult to relate to resulted in an interesting complicated plot being required to maintain the audience’s attention. Plays needed to be entertaining and captivating in order to draw crowds and nothing succeeded more than the revenge tragedy. A revenge tragedy was most typically centered on a leading character attempting to avenge a death. The play ‘Hamlet’ captivates through the ghost of his father commanding to ‘Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder’. To a Jacobean audience the revenge plot enticed them due to their love for questioning morals and learning further about the political correctness of revenge. The bible constantly reprimands the use of revenge ‘Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it’. From this, people in that era believed it was wrong to retaliate but were fiercely interested in how others reacted in similar situations. Today, religion is a lot less influential on society and people feel that revenge only returns to them the justice that is due. People often feel less guilt about being malicious to others in comparison to the previous era and as a result, are less interested in how others behave in that situation.

‘Hamlet’ is a play, which adheres to the modern society motivated by a desire to learn more about others and ourselves. A famous philosopher once said ‘To know ones self is to see oneself in others’. The key interests in ‘Hamlet’ for a modern audience is the various characterization and development...

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Uploaded by:   xsparklyvix

Date:   09/05/2005

Category:   Hamlet

Length:   8 pages (1,743 words)

Views:   16641

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