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Characteristics of a Revenge Tragedy

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Gandalf The grey

on 27 May 2016

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Transcript of Characteristics of a Revenge Tragedy

Characteristics of the Theme "Tragedy of Revenge"
Revenged- Seeker

I will do ’t:
And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal, that but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
That is but scratched withal. I’ll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly
It may be death (IV vii 139-147).
"And therefore as a stranger give it welcome;
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy; but come.
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
(How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
As I perchance, hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on)
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake"
(I v 165 - 173),
"Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!"
"O, speak to me no more;/These words like daggers enter in my ears;/No more, sweet Hamlet" (III iv 95)!
A Play-Within-the-Play
"I'll have grounds/
More relative than this—the play's the thing/
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King" (II ii 603-605).
"Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (I v 25).
Sinister Intrigue
"I will do't:
And, for that purpose, I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
That is but scratch'd withal: I'll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death" ( IV VII 139-147).
Hamlet as a Tragedy of Revenge
-wronged revenge-seeker
-sinister intrigue
-a play-within-the-play
-multiple murders
-realistic depiction of bloody violence onstage
Multiple Murders
Realistic Depiction of Violence on Stage

Hamlets plan is to see whether or not the ghost was telling the truth
His plan is to set up a play re-enacting his fathers death
Any sign of guilt shown by Claudius Hamlet will proceed with his plan
Reveals what Hamlets motives are in order to gain revenge
He seeks to avenge his fathers death and seeks truth with the play within the play and that is what he received
The tragedy is that even after that moment of Claudius' guilt being revealed to hamlet, hamlet had a perfect opportunity to kill Claudius but didn't.
What is a revenge tradgedy?
"A style of drama, popular in England during the late 16th and 17th centuries, in which the basic plot was a quest for vengeance and which typically featured scenes of carnage and mutilation".
Hamlet is upset with himself
His delay of avenging fathers death
His tragic flaw is procrastination
"Am I a coward"?
Wasted his chances of killing Claudius
Filled with anger and self doubt
Contributes to the theme tragedy of revenge

Torture evident when Hamlet speaks to his mother
Inflicts suffering upon her when "speaking daggers" to her
Use of Hamlet's words are torturing her
She begs him to stop
Shows that Shakespear's Hamlet is a revenge tragedy due to the fact that Hamlet is torturing his mother
Torture is a trait of the theme "tragedy of revenge"

"The serpent that did sting thy father's life/Now wears his crown" (I v 38-39).
The ghost (King Hamlet) was murdered by King Claudius in order to usurp the throne
"O, I am slain" (III iv 24)!
Polonius is murdered by Hamlet
Hamlet stabs him with a sword through the curtain Polonius was hiding behind
Queen Gertrude:
"No, no, the drink, - O my dear Hamlet, -/The drink, the drink! I am poison'd" (V ii 300).
Claudius unintentionally murders Gertrude
She wasn't meant to drink the poisoned cup
"O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt" (V ii 314).
Claudius is murdered by Hamlet by stabbing him with his sword
Forces Claudius to drink poison
"Hath turn'd itself on me; lo, here I lie,/Never to rise again: thy mother's poison'd:/I can no more: the king, the King's to blame" (V ii 308-310).
"It is here Hamlet, thou art slain" (V ii 303):
Murder of Hamlet and Laertes by their own hands and by Claudius
Laertes and Claudius plan to kill Hamlet with the poisoned sword and as a backup, the poisoned drink
Hamlet is poisoned successfully
Laertes and Hamlet's swords are switched and Laertes is poisoned as well
Result is Laertes' and Hamlet's death by their own hands and by Claudius
First Ambassador: "That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead" (V ii 361);
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are murdered by Hamlet
Hamlet changed the letter so that they be murdered upon their arrival to England instead of Hamlet
Due to all these murders, Shakespeare's Hamlet is a tragedy of revenge
"They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord" (V ii 294)?
depicted when Laertes and Hamlet wound each other during their violent fencing match
Bloodshed on both sides
Due to the violence and bloodshed that results, Hamlet is a tragedy of revenge


Claudius and laertes were coming up with a plan to kill Hamlet
To dip Laertes sword in poison
Laertes is seeking revenge for his father
Trajedy is that they all die
All are hooked on revenge

“When in your motion you are hot and dry,
As make your bouts more violent to that end,
And that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared him
A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venomed stuck,
Our purpose may hold there” (IV 7 157-162).

Claudius is the root of all the evil present in Denmark
Comes up with a backup plan to ensure Hamlet is dead
Plans to poison his drink
Shows yet another evil action that is done by Claudius
Hamlet accidentally killed Polonius
Laertes seeks revenge for his death
He speaks to the King and they plan their revenge on Hamlet
Laertes and Hamlet will have a fencing duel
Laertes plans on sharpening and poisoning the tip of his sword to kill Hamlet during the duel
One of the many characteristics of Tragedy of Revenge
The ghost is asking Prince Hamlet to take revenge
the murder of the ghost ruined the natural order of nature
Another characteristic of the Tragedy of Revenge

Hamlet is explaining to Horatio his future plans.
Hamlet will put himself in antic disposition
Horatio must never tell anyone about Hamlet's plan
Hamlet will be able to gather more information regarding the death (murder) of his father
knowing more information will let Hamlet know how to take revenge and who to take on to
The third characteristic of Tragedy of Revenge
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