An Analysis of the Theme of Revenge in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

An Analysis of the Theme of Revenge in Shakespeare’s Hamlet



The written essay is on the subject of Hamlet and Vengeance

Hamlet is one of his most famous plays, composed based on one of the greatest tragedies by the famous playwright William Shakespeare. The play is about a revenge theory staged by his son after his father’s death. However, it could be said that seeking revenge in due course aggravates the avenger against the individual or the cause of the revenge. Furthermore, it can be argued that seeking revenge is not ideal for achieving equality, as you can be just as bad as the person you want to take revenge on. The following essay attempts to analyze the theme of revenge emphasized in one of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, Hamlet. A major theme emphasized in Hamlet’s play is related to that of revenge. The most prominent theme emphasized in the pact concerns the revenge Prince Hamlet seeks upon learning that his father, the late King Claudius, was murdered by his brother Claudius, Prince Hamlet’s uncle. be. It has been observed that the play’s protagonist, Prince Hamlet, was looking for various pieces of evidence and evidence to help him understand the fact that the late King Hamlet had been murdered by the reigning Danish king, Claudius (Hall 2016). Hamlet was informed of his father’s eerie murder by none other than his father’s ghost. It is therefore observed that Hamlet sought ways to verify the truthfulness of the Holy Spirit’s utterances. However, he refuses and awaits justice against Claudius. The hero’s mental state was emphasized by the famous monologue

“To be or not to be, that is the question.

Is it spiritually sublime to suffer?

Slingshots and darts of tremendous luck,

Or to arm yourself against a pile of problems

And by going against them, you will end them. ”

It has been observed that the revenge Hamlet sought ultimately led to Hamlet’s death, the death of the only woman he loved, and the destruction of the Kingdom of Denmark (Simkin 2017).

The play also reveals various subplots expressed through the actions of various characters. One of his key characters demonstrating revenge activity is Laertes (Bratchell 2019). Laertes learns that Hamlet killed her father, Polonius, and seeks revenge on Prince Hamlet. Polonius’ death was caused by Hamlet mistaking Polonius for someone else and pointing his sword at him. When she heard the news of the deaths of her beloved sister Ophelia and her father Polonius, Laertes’ desire for revenge was awakened (Haque 2016). Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is believed to be the main cause of the deaths of Ophelia and Polonius. Ophelia committed suicide, but Polonius was killed by the prince. Laertes was arguing with Claudius, now King of Denmark, about how to avenge the deaths of her sister and her father, and this infuriated her. This is aptly demonstrated by Laertes’ next speech.

“And I lost my noble father.

sister in despair

When praise pours down again, whose worth

Rise as a challenger with the greatest mount ever

For her perfection, but my revenge will come. ”

It has also been observed that Laertes himself died as a result of the revenge carried out by Laertes.

In the case of Fortinbras, it has been observed that the young king also sought revenge for his father’s death. Since the Norwegian King learned that his father had died at the hands of the Danish army, he is known to have sought revenge against the Danes (Thomas 2018). Horatio is said to have emphasized the fact that the current King of Norway, Fortinbras, has taken revenge on Denmark. “Well, young Fortinbrass,

unmodified metal, hot and full,

Lotuses throughout the Norwegian frontier

Created a list of illegal solvers

For food and diet, for business.

I’m hungry for that. ”

It has been observed that the revenge sought by Fortinbras motivated the young Danish prince Hamlet to seek revenge for the death of his father King Hamlet (Wilson 2019). Fortinbras’ quest for revenge puts Hamlet in a position to step up his efforts and eventually confront the man who killed his father. The revenge Fortinbras sought motivated Hamlet to reach a state of mind where he could understand the willpower necessary to properly avenge his troubled criminals (Sarkar 2016). The play ends with Hamlet’s death and the subsequent Proclamation of Fortinbras as King of Denmark.


Instead of the above argument, we can say that seeking revenge for crimes committed may not ultimately lead to equality for those involved. Revenge ultimately leads to the eventual extermination of those involved in its activities. The famous playwright Shakespeare is said to have shown that attempts to take proper revenge for wrongdoing often lead to the ruin and depravity of the parties. Individuals seeking appropriate retribution often fail to catch criminals and, as a result, end up in situations that can be degrading compared to the individual’s existence.


Brachell, D.F., 2019. Shakespeare’s tragedy. Routledge.

Hall, J.C., 2016. A narrative case study on Hamlet and the cultural construction of Western individualism, diagnosis and madness. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 35(2), pp. 1-13.

Haque, F., 2016. Revenge and Revenge in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: A Study of Hamlet’s Quest and Hesitation on Revenge. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 21, pp. 55-59.

Sarkar, S., 2016. Shakespeare’s negative attitude towards women in Hamlet. Journal of Millennium University, 1(1), pp. 64-67.

W Shakespeare, 2003. Hamlet. Simon and Schuster. Simkin, S., 2017. A tragedy of revenge. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Thomas, A., 2018. Writing, memory and revenge in Beowulf, Sir Gawain, The Green Knight and Hamlet. Shakespeare, Catholicism and the Middle Ages (pp. 113-147). Palgrave McMillan, Cham.

Wilson, J., 2019. Meaning of death in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. ANQ: A quarterly magazine of short articles, notes, and reviews, pages 1-5.

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