Elizabethan Revenge in Hamlet

This essay Elizabethan Revenge in Hamlet has a total of 2572 words and 11 pages.

Elizabethan Revenge in Hamlet

Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare that very
closely follows the dramatic conventions of revenge in Elizabethan
theater. All revenge tragedies originally stemmed from the Greeks, who
wrote and performed the first plays. After the Greeks came Seneca who
was very influential to all Elizabethan tragedy writers. Seneca who
was Roman, basically set all of the ideas and the norms for all
revenge play writers in the Renaissance era including William
Shakespeare. The two most famous English revenge tragedies written in
the Elizabethan era were Hamlet, written by Shakespeare and The
Spanish Tragedy, written by Thomas Kyd. These two plays used mostly
all of the Elizabethan conventions for revenge tragedies in their
plays. Hamlet especially incorporated all revenge conventions in one
way or another, which truly made Hamlet a typical revenge play.
“Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of many heroes of the Elizabethan and
Jacobean stage who finds himself grievously wronged by a powerful
figure, with no recourse to the law, and with a crime against his
family to avenge.”

Seneca was among the greatest authors of classical tragedies
and there was not one educated Elizabethan who was unaware of him or
his plays. There were certain stylistic and different strategically
thought out devices that Elizabethan playwrights including Shakespeare
learned and used from Seneca’s great tragedies. The five act
structure, the appearance of some kind of ghost, the one line
exchanges known as stichomythia, and Seneca’s use of long rhetorical
speeches were all later used in tragedies by Elizabethan playwrights.
Some of Seneca’s ideas were originally taken from the Greeks when the
Romans conquered Greece, and with it they took home many Greek
theatrical ideas. Some of Seneca’s stories that originated from the
Greeks like Agamemnon and Thyestes which dealt with bloody family
histories and revenge captivated the Elizabethans. Seneca’s stories
weren’t really written for performance purposes, so if English
playwrights liked his ideas, they had to figure out a way to make the
story theatrically workable, relevant and exciting to the Elizabethan
audience who were very demanding. Seneca’s influence formed part of a
developing tradition of tragedies whose plots hinge on political
power, forbidden sexuality, family honor and private revenge. “There
was no author who exercised a wider or deeper influence upon th

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