"Hamlet" as revenge drama

Revenge dramas of the English Renaissance

We can also look at “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare as a revenge drama. Revenge dramas have been already discussed extensively by the ancient philosophers Seneca and Aristotle, and have been artistically developed, for example, in the play "Medea" by the philosopher Euripides.

The revenge tragedy occupies an important position in the English Renaissance and embodies a very successful genre. It presents the revenge of a bloody act. Its plot is often peppered with intrigue, cruelty, and madness. One reason for this success may be that an individual strives to restore worldly justice. Revenge was a virtuous act at the time, provided it served to defend family honor.

Shakespeare, like many other Renaissance writers, sought inspiration in the works of antiquity. Revenge dramas modeled on the plays of the Roman...

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