Revenge - Essay Examples And Topic Ideas For Free
Revenge entails retaliating against someone in response to perceived wrongs or injustices. Essays on revenge might explore its psychological underpinnings, moral implications, or its representation in literature, film, and history. Discussions could delve into famous revenge stories, the societal or personal consequences of seeking revenge, or the ethical debates surrounding retribution and justice. Analyzing different cultural or historical perspectives on revenge can provide a multifaceted exploration of human emotions, social norms, and justice systems. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to Revenge you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.
Revenge is the Overarching Theme of the Play Hamlet
Revenge is a strange idea. It has been around since the dawn of time. An Eye for an eye, right? If someone hits you, you hit them back harder. In the play, Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Revenge is the overarching theme of the play. It shows what revenge can do to a person. Hamlet views revenge as a good deed: something that he must complete to avenge his dad. Revenge is binary, meaning it isn't only the act of revenge, there […]
Revenge and Foreshadowing in the Cask of Amontillado
"Edgar Allan Poe is a famous writer known for his thrilling short stories. One of his shorts, “The Cask of Amontillado” is most known for its intense and prevalent themes, including irony and foreshadowing. Foreshadowing in an element in the story is used to hint an event that will occur further along in the story. There are many types of Irony. One of these is dramatic irony, which refers to when a character thinks something is true, yet the audience […]
Edgar Allan Poe’s the Cask of Amontillado Essay
"Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado expresses enigmatic themes of desire and human complexity. The protagonist desires revenge on an acquaintance through premeditated murder. Although conversely, that is only on the surface. Montresor's needs and desires are that of something beyond vengeance. It is known that our narrator and protagonist Montresor, seeks vengeance against Fortunato for the insults and ""the thousand injuries"" he felt had been done to him. Although, Montresor never clarifies how Fortunato degrades him nor backs […]
In her novel ?Frankenstein?, Mary Shelley shows that both Frankenstein and his creature are obsessed with revenge through their strong emotional language and obsessive actions, yet neither of them wins and gets revenge in the end. After Victor Frankenstein is threatened by the creature after destroying his nearly complete bride, Frankenstein states that he “?burned with rage to pursue the murderer of my peace and precipitate him into the ocean. I walked up and down my room hastily and perturbed, […]
Lies, Revenge and Betrayal in Othello
Lies are extremely common in our society today, with millions of people masking their true intentions. In Shakespeare's play titled Othello, one of the characters, Iago, is no different and in fact the same as those deceptive individuals in society. Behind his act as a trustworthy friend, Iago is a manipulative and deceptive character creating disorder and causing many mishaps to occur. Iago uses many acts of manipulation to undermine every single character's weaknesses to get exactly what he wants, […]
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William Shakespeare Titus Andronicus Vs. Alice Walker the Color Purple
"I will be contrasting William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and Alice Walker's The Color Purple. I chose to contrast these works because they are completely different; they stem from different time periods, feature characters of different genders and races, and portray trauma and religion in uniquely different ways. I was especially interested in observing how their characters handle trauma, how they cope with it, and examining the changes in the Christian community during these different historical periods. Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus […]
Examples of Revenge in the Scarlet Letter
Often times we hear "What's good for the goose is what's good for gander," in other words, if one person committed a crime they should both be punished the same. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, he explores the sin of Hester Prynne and Author Dimmesdale. He reveals these two characters to show that staying hidden and suffering in silence is worse than being publicly humiliated. Although Hester has committed a serious crime (adultery), she wears her scarlet letter […]
Revenge and Justice in Wuthering Heights
"There is a blurred line between revenge and justice. Is revenge, justice? Is revenge, justified? The difference, may be nothing but a shuffling of the same words to make oneself feel morally sound. If we can agree on the idea that revenge is a feeling or act of retribution, and also that justice is no more than a ‘just’ act of retaliation, then we can begin to question the fine structure of moral values and how that affects the definition […]
With Love, Violence and Vengeance
Through the twisted minds of human nature, love is shown through acts of violence and vengeance committed by mankind. William Shakespeare's, Othello and Homer’s The Odyssey violence and vengeance are portrayed through jealousy, prejudice, justice, and honor. Their roles are woven throughout these books to portray the idea that love is a violent concept. Violence and vengeance can be found in several ways. It can be expressed physically, verbally, and mentally. Othello shows how envy and jealousy can overpower and […]
The Play Hamlet: Revenge and Ophelia’s Madness
In the play, Shakespeare uses revenge as a main theme. To accomplish this theme, he had all three men seeking revenge at one time. Revenge is used in a way for all three men to express their feelings through anger and sadness. Anger can act in ways of corruption of plans, they may be changed or come out of hands when setting your mind in a negative mental state. Each son had a different way of seeking revenge. Their way […]
The Justification of Revenge and Unwillingness of Hamlet to Avenge his Father’s Death
Hamlet is a tragedy authored by William Shakespeare. The story tells of Hamlet, who is informed by the spirit of his father, that he has been murdered by Hamlet's uncle Claudius and his minions. Hamlet devises a plan to avenge his father against those who murdered him. His convoluted plot involves a theater play that is intended to prove and verify his uncle's guilt. He sets up the play to re-enact his father's murder with the actor resembling his father. […]
The Enigmatic Narration and Deceptive Layers of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’
“The Cask of Amontillado”, a short fiction story by Edgar Allan Poe, this particular story has a distinctive way of narrating without stating the obvious. Throughout the story readers are left to figure out what the author’s brilliant strategies in narrating the story and how the readers look at the characters are presented in the story. The Cask of Amontillado is a simple story of vengeance from the outside. However, the story takes an ironic way of expressing what’s the […]
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Essays on Revenge
Hook examples for revenge essays, "the temptation of revenge" hook.
"Revenge has often been described as a dish best served cold, but what tempts individuals to seek vengeance? Explore the psychological and moral complexities that surround the concept of revenge."
"From Shakespeare to Contemporary Fiction" Hook
"Revenge is a recurring theme in literature, from Shakespearean tragedies to modern thrillers. Compare and contrast the portrayal of revenge in classic and contemporary fiction."
"Revenge in Real Life: Stories of Retribution" Hook
"Revenge is not limited to the pages of fiction. Share real-life stories of individuals who sought revenge and analyze the consequences of their actions on themselves and others."
"The Vengeful Antihero" Hook
"From classic literature to blockbuster films, antiheroes often seek revenge as a central motive. Explore the complex character of the vengeful antihero and their journey toward redemption or destruction."
"Justice vs. Revenge: Ethical Dilemmas" Hook
"Is revenge a form of justice or a moral failing? Examine the ethical dilemmas surrounding revenge, the role of the legal system, and the potential for reconciliation."
"Breaking the Cycle of Revenge" Hook
"Revenge can perpetuate a cycle of violence. Investigate strategies for breaking this cycle, promoting forgiveness, and finding alternative paths to justice and resolution."
"The Psychology of Revenge: Unmasking Motives" Hook
"Psychologists have studied the motives behind revenge. Dive into the psychology of revenge, examining factors such as anger, humiliation, and the desire for retribution."
Is Revenge Ever Justified?
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Edgar Allan Poe’s Description of The Topic of Vengeance as Illustrated in His Book, The Cask of Amontillado
Hamlet: revenge as the major force that drives the play, nature of revenge in the novel the frankenstein, the theme of justice versus retribution and revenge in "the crucible" by arthur miller.
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Revenge and Justice in The Count of Monte Cristo
Justification of revenge: are hamlet's actions justified, the motives of revenge in hamlet, sympathy and objectification in the revenge tragedy genre, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.
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An Analysis of The Theme of Revenge in Hamlet by William Shakespeare
An analysis of the theme of revenge in the play hamlet by william shakespeare, revenge and desire in prometheus and frankenstein, reality and appearance: a comparison of hamlet and the revenger"s tragedy, the main idea in "of revenge" by francis bacon, a view of the continuous vengeance in sherman alexie’s book, flight, the main topic of vengeance, fairness and fate as described by iliad in the poem, homer, the theme of revenge in frankenstein by mary shelley , death and revenge in hamlet, a play by william shakespeare, lack of justice leading to an outdated way of revenge, revenge and justice in "wuthering heights" by emily bronte, women's use of deception in "medea", "the book of judith" and "the ecclesiazusae", multiple perspectives in "agamemnon" by aeschylus, the harmful results of vengeance as depicted in nathaniel hawthorne's book the scarlet letter, statements opposing vengeance in william shakespeare's hamlet, "just and sharp revenge": the question of underworld justice in "the spanish tragedy", political themes in shakespeare's hamlet, tessie's revenge in "the lottery" a short story by shirley jackson, an examination of "intimate revenge" in seamus heaney’s "punishment", middleton’s parosy on a revenge tragedy in "the revenger’s tragedy", relevant topics.
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Essays on Revenge
Revenge for my sons.
Shit Porky, said Joe They know we’re here! Grab the money and lets’ get the hell out before they find out who we really are! Give me a few more minutes. Frankie will have our asses if we get caught, replied Porky. Wait; is this a baseball bat under the counter? Joe replies, You idiot, it’s not a baseball bat, it’s a ticking time bomb. Forget the money let’s leave! Now Por But, it was too late. Porky Grimes and […]
Revenge in “Hamlet”
“Hamlet,” is a tale of a Danish prince bestowed with the burden of hashing a plan to punish his father’s murderer once his ghost appears before him, he and the public unaware of his true cause of death that he was slain by his very own blood. To Hamlet’s surprise his uncle, Claudius has killed his brother and proclaimed his thrown by marrying the prince’s mother, Gertrude. In Hamlet’s search for answers along with his sanity, he makes the fatal […]
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Revenge Cause more Harm than Good
Revenge is defined as “a desire to do harm in return for a wrong; returning evil for evil; vengeance” (Webster Dictionary). Revenge is very powerful and, in most instances, can cause more harm than good. Sadly, it is something people will encounter in their everyday life. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, several of the characters feel the need to get revenge on others in order to to restore their family honor. Revenge plays a huge role in the character development of […]
Revenge Theme in Frankenstein
In the Novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley discusses several important themes. These themes represent her thoughts and occurrence from her real life. She presents the action and decision of some of the characters to introduce these themes. Among them, revenge is a key theme throughout the novel Frankenstein. Thus, the continuous cycle of revenge due to the excited state of strong emotions- love, anger, hatred, loneliness, and rejection drive the plot of the novel. Revenge is shown as the important aspects […]
Revenge in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller
Revenge In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, revenge plays a significant role in making the Putnam believe Rebecca Nurse is guilty of witchcraft, and of making other people accuse each other of witchcraft. In this story revenge was huge in more than one part of the story revenge took place. In the following paragraphs, I will be talking about three situations where revenge was used. The first out of the three examples I will be explaining about revenge was when […]
Revenge in William Shakespear’s Hamlet
To obtain revenge is to cause harm or injury in return for a wrong committed (“Revenge 474”). To pursue justice is to ensure the condition of being morally correct or fair (“Justice”). William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark portrays explicit circumstances of betrayal inevitably leading to vengeful desires and progressive developments of insanity in Hamlet, the protagonist of the play. Hamlet undoubtedly values revenge over justice as depicted through his desires to inflict pain and suffering upon […]
Revenge is in the Blood
1.Background Information on Euripides: Euripides was an amazing author/dramatist, creating many great tragedies. He was born in 480 BC and died 406 BC. He had two wives, one daughter, and three sons. He wrote the famous Medea And Other Plays. He wrote all his plays and stories in Salamis Island. He had a different style to his plays, and they later became very popular throughout Greece and the rest of the world. Euripides didn’t just make tragedies, he made […]
I graduated from a really small, rural high school in Idaho. 14 people in my graduating class. It was the sort of school where they didn’t offer foreign language, math beyond Algebra 2, or science classes with labs. But, they did have sports. The history teacher was primarily there to coach junior high football and high school basketball. Every single day for history class, he would tell us “bring something to do”. We never cracked the textbook at all. We […]
Critical Analysis of Hamlet: Character Analysis and the Themes of Revenge
Throughout the play of hamlet we see the theme of revenge in use, Revenge which is one of the biggest themes in hamlet as it is the biggest revenge play ever. It shows us Hamlet, a young man whose apart of the royal family of denmark whose father had wrongfully been killed by his uncle, King claudius. Hamlet fatefully finds this out one night when he is with Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus and they reveal to him that his father […]
The Revenge in Hamlet Play
“As a groundbreaking author with numerous plays that are entirely diverse from one another, Shakespeare investigated the range of the human spirit and how it reacted whenever difficulties arose. “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder,”” this saying originates within William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. (Punchner & Shakespeare 2013) The tale of Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare’s most notable works of literature. The creation was published in the early sixteenth century, and one of the most massive plays that William Shakespeare’ […]
Hamlet’s Revenge in a Shakespeare’s Play
In “Hamlet”, a play written by Shakespeare, there are many things that point to one of the main themes, which is revenge. Their also is many characters that can be compared and contrasted to Hamlet and revenge, but the one character that has the most prominent comparisons is Laertes. Hamlet and Laertes try to avenge their father’s deaths and it contributes to one of the main themes in the play which is revenge. By attempting to avenge their fathers’ deaths, […]
Is Revenge Good or Bad?
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that Hamlets revenge is not justified. This isn’t out and out expressed, yet rather suggested. Characters frequently assume that exact retribution is the best way to get conclusion from an awful affair, and when this is followed up on, negative outcomes are not appeared. Seldom is the way that retaliation is double-dealing and wrong raised. Individuals need to wake up and understand that exact retribution is constantly fraudulent and strange. As Christ stated, ‘Let […]
Hamlet – a Revenge Story
Hamlet, arguably one of William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, is a classic revenge story that centers around a crestfallen Danish prince who struggles against himself to avenge the murder of his recently deceased father. Scheming the revenge requested by his father’s ghost, Hamlet finds resistance from non but his very pensive and thoughtful self. The play’s tone and language parallel the inner mind of its protagonist: dark and introspective. Hamlet ???s character however is three dimensional and is more complex than […]
Pride and Revenge in “The Cask of Amontillado”
Pride can be defined as an unreasonably corrupt sense of one’s self-worth, status or accomplishments. Often times when individuals have excessive pride, they grow arrogant; this can lead to detrimental circumstances as seen in The Cask of Amontillado by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The plot of the short story is established upon an alleged insult from Fortunato to Montresor’s name. Montresor plans the perfect murder in effort to restore his family honor. The intense pride of both men, and […]
The Cameraman’s Revenge by Wladyslaw Starewicz
In this essay I will be talking about The Cameraman’s Revenge by Ladislas Starevich, which is a widely known and very notable stop motion animation that was something very new and very impressive for its time. I chose this piece for this essay as I admire the animator’s history and because I consider this animation to be very impressive. It stood out to me when I first encountered it and it has become a reference for me and my studies […]
Justice Vs. Revenge in Long Way down by Jason Reynolds
In the novel, Long Way Down, author Jason Reynolds show the contrast between justice and revenge in relation to outcomes of characters; justice and revenge are two different things, justice is focused on the good of the community, while revenge is solely focused on oneself. Will, the protagonist of the book, undergoes a transformation of motives on the elevator ride down. He assumes that he is focused justice, based upon what he has learned about “The Rules.” After meeting six […]
Obsessed on Revenge
Have you ever thought on getting revenge? Dead men tell no tales, unknown, this quote has some sarcasm on it, as you notice. Men who are dead can’t talk anymore so they have a zero percent chance on saying a word. Another quote would be The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.The meaning of this turism is that no one has to be perfect everyone is […]
Edmond Dante’s Revenge
Revenge is a form of self-administered justice, giving oneself assurance that punishment has been delivered in a way that is more righteous than societal justice. Sometimes, reprisal can be taken too far, which can be seen in Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, using the main character, Edmond Dantes, as an illustration. It can be seen throughout the novel that Dumas does not believe that Dantes’ revenge is justified. Revenge is alluring, and Edmond Dantes has fallen victim to […]
Theme of Revenge in the Cask of Amontillado
“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (1) is the opening line of this short story. In Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Cask of Amontillado” we learn of a man who seeks revenge on an old friend, a man who had insulted him. The story does not give details of what was said but the Narrator is determined on seeking revenge. Throughout the story, reader is never […]
Pride and Revenge in the Cask of Amontillado
The The Cask of Amontillado is a Gothic fiction by Edgar Allan Poe who develops the theme of pride and revenge to show the motive for Montresor actions and to foreshadow what is to happen in the story. The Cask of Amontillado is told in past tense about a chilling murder Montresor committed 50 years ago. The narrator says the reason for his cruel intentions, was because Fortunato had wronged him for some unknown reason. All we know is that […]
The Theme of Revenge in “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare
To avenge ones fallen father was seen to be a moral obligation in most revenge tragedies during the Elizabethan era and it was certainly no different in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. The act of revenge was a major theme that revolved around Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras who all share a desire to kill their father’s murderer yet contrast in terms of character. Hamlet and Laertes the two that pursued vengeance the most ultimately met their end, while young Fortinbras who was […]
Central Idea of Revenge in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, several themes within the play comprise it’s story line and ultimately holds major influences on the plot. Conflict underlies almost every scene and is reinforced by the central idea of revenge. Several characters attempt to entice their enemies and even lead them to their own death through schemeful acts of manipulation. The idea of revenge is first presented when Shakespeare creates conflict with Hamlet and Claudius which leads to a series of betrayals, treachery and deception. […]
Merchant of Venice – Revenge Traggedy Play
The renaissance Christians despised the Jews since they trusted that their behavior of accusing interest on money they lend was against the societal ethics. Among the period of renaissance Christians had bowed obtainable to be forcefully indebted to the Jews who had progressive money to them with percentages taxes hereafter their extended contempt for the Jewish associates who began identifying them as cruel by demanding lending on the duties they lend. This was an arrogant and un fair response from […]
Is Hamlet a Revenge Play
During the Elizabethan era, revenge plays were all the rave. A play that’s main plot is purely a quest for vengeance. It begins with a hero who has been wronged and feels the need for revenge. These themes drive the plot. Typically, in the end, the hero kills the one who has wronged him and ends up a casualty in their own ploy. Hamlet is no exception to this. It falls into the footsteps of the classic revenge tale. It […]
The Theme of Revenge in Hamlet
The Chinese proverb, “if you seek revenge, digs two graves,” perfectly explains the mood as well as the events of William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. The theme of revenge dominates the play because most of the characters are “out to get” those who wrong them by luring them to their death. In the initial stages of the play, the ghost of King Hamlet appears to Hamlet and makes a confession with regards to King Claudius elucidating, “Revenge his foul and most […]
Shakespeare’s Moral Conflict of Revenge
While staying true to moral principles is admirable, it can end in tragedy. In analyzing two pieces of classical literature, the morally certain protagonists both share the distinction of tragic heroes. Their stories are different, but they are connected in that they are both defenders of what is right. Sophocles’s Antigone and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet illustrate the theme of listening to the moral conscience. The morality theme is developed by analyzing Antigone as her values mandate following human sentiment over […]
Why does Hamlet Delay his Revenge
As I memorize back to my childhood age, I always had arguments and fights with my older sister. She would always do some things to get me in trouble with our parents. These acts always made me feel like getting back to her and take a revenge for what she did. Basically, revenge to people is the desire to get back at the person who did something against you or caused the action to be acted upon you (DiBattista 70). […]
Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’: the Tragedy of Revenge
Revenge is a theme seen throughout Hamlet. It is a major element that makes the story more intriguing. Fear drives people to behave irrationally and leads to madness, confusion, death, and most importantly revenge. Revenge isn’t a good way to handle situations because you’ll notice a lot of accidental things that happen and faulty actions. I’m going to focus on three main characters who are seeking revenge; Hamlet and Laertes. All wanting revenge for the death of their fathers. The […]
Insanity in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Revenge can cause one to be blinded through rage, rather than through understanding. It is from the law of an eye for an eye, but the law is not always an intelligent concept to go along with. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he uses revenge as the major theme for the growth of Hamlet’s madness throughout the village to avenge his father’s death. It is ironical how retaliation was pursued by Hamlet but in turn he perished because of its foolish […]
Revenge Theme in Literature: Examples & Quotes
Revenge provides relief. Characters in many literary stories believe in this idea. Convinced that they were wronged, they are in the constant pursuit of revenge. But is it really the only way for them to find peace?
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This article by Custom-Writing.org is going to answer this and other questions related to the revenge theme. Together we will dig deeper into:
- the meaning of revenge;
- its characteristics as a literary theme.
And, of course, there will be plenty of examples.
⚔️ Revenge Theme: Meaning
- Wuthering Heights
Revenge is a response to injustice. To be more precise, it is both a desire and an action of a person who wants to react to a wrong done by the offender. Seeking revenge is a natural impulse of the wounded.
Usually, people want to do it in order to get satisfaction. However, the result will be temporary. Psychologists believe that only forgiveness can provide freedom and the desired peace. Nevertheless, revenge remains an enduring concept in many cultures.
In the English language, various terms denote revenge as well as other closely related notions. We are going to deal with them in the following sections.
Avenge vs Revenge
The major difference between “to avenge” and “to revenge” lies in the inflicted party:
- If one wants to pay back for someone who was offended, we use “to avenge .”
- If a person wants to pay back for themselves, we use “to revenge.”
Vengeance vs Revenge
The main difference between vengeance and revenge is that revenge refers to personal action, while vengeance is connected with abstract concepts such as morality.
- When a person seeks revenge , they want to punish the transgressor.
- When they seek vengeance , they want to achieve justice or to protect their honor.
Revenge vs Justice
The difference between revenge and justice is that justice as a concept is logical and rational, while an act of revenge is selfish and emotional.
Digging deeper, we can say that justice is fair, while revenge isn’t. Usually, when people confuse these two notions, they think that revenge will help them seek justice. However, justice isn’t about equality, and it’s not about experiencing joy because of retaliation. Instead, it’s about acting according to the norms set by the majority.
According to American Psychological Association, revenge is often associated with the concept of emotional catharsis . It means that a person can get an enormous emotional burst after the act of vengeance. It evokes pleasure when a person sees the offender’s suffering. However, this satisfaction is fleeting, and those who take revenge end up feeling even worse.
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Revenge is mainly associated with anger, hatred, and grief. That’s why the theme of revenge is so prevalent in art and literature. It allows authors to show the feelings people experience before, during, and after an act of vengeance. Most of the works demonstrate that revenge isn’t worth spending time and effort because it doesn’t provide relief.
🎭 Revenge in Literature: History & Characteristics
The revenge theme has always been popular, and it goes back to ancient times. It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t know the story about brothers Cain and Abel described in the Bible. Also, the topic of revenge was explored in epic poems such as The Iliad and Beowulf . This theme became especially popular in the form of revenge tragedy during the Renaissance.
Revenge Tragedy: Definition
A revenge tragedy is a type of dramatic writing in which a person tries to pay back for the moral or physical harm done to their loved ones. Usually, the protagonists seek revenge because they believe in retributive justice —a concept which, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is based on the principle “an eye for an eye.”
Revenge tragedies date back to the times of Ancient Rome. The theme of revenge was one of the central issues in the works of a famous Stoic philosopher and politician, Seneca. He described shocking actions, such as incest, violent murders, or cannibalism. In plays such as Oedipus and Agamemnon , revenge is the central theme. So, it’s possible to say that Seneca invented the notion of a revenge tragedy.
But why was revenge tragedy so popular during the Renaissance? The matter is that Senecan tragedies were of significant interest to the writers of that time because of all the terrific plot twists. Jacobean audiences especially adored the bloody scenes. Roman plays were translated into English, and they served as an example for English playwrights.
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William Shakespeare, an outstanding representative of Elizabethan drama, used many Senecan motifs in his plays. However, the major difference between the approaches of these two playwrights is the description of bloodshed. In Senecan tragedies, all the bloody scenes occurred offstage, while in Shakespearean plays, they happened onstage. That’s why the audiences who came to Shakespeare’s theater always knew they’d get to see a thrilling spectacle.
Revenge Tragedy Characteristics
We have already explained the historical side of revenge tragedies. Now, let’s deal with their core aspects. Here are the elements that characterize this kind of writing:
Revenge Theme’s Elements
Just like revenge itself, the theme of revenge is a complicated thing. Its components include specific character motivations and consequences of revenge. Want to learn more about these aspects? Read the following sections.
Taking revenge is usually a lengthy process. An avenger needs to plan everything carefully to carry out their vengeance in the most satisfying way. The proverb “revenge is a dish best served cold” sums up the whole process perfectly.
Cycle of Revenge
The revenge cycle is a continuous repetition of a person’s attempts to avenge themselves or their loved ones. An avenger focuses on the idea of paying back and continuously tries to realize it. Usually, this vicious circle can be broken only with the help of forgiveness.
The Price of Revenge
Avengers tend to pay a high price for their vindictive actions. Revenge is a morally dubious act that causes pangs of consciousness. A person may lose their humanity in the process, and there is no guarantee that they will feel satisfaction.
📚 Examples of Revenge in Literature
It’s time to get to the practical part of our investigation. We have gathered for you some excellent examples of the vengeance theme from famous literary works. Ready to read them? Let’s start!
Revenge in Hamlet
Hamlet is considered to be a revenge tragedy. But is it really? Let’s find it out together.
It’s worth mentioning that the revenge theme is prominent throughout the whole story. There are 3 revenge plots:
- Hamlet wants to avenge his father’s murder. He blames his uncle, King Claudius. The story of Hamlet and his revenge plan is the central one.
- Fortinbras is targeted at fighting against Denmark. The reason is that King Hamlet took his father’s life and his land.
- Laertes intends to kill Hamlet, considering him guilty of his father’s and sister’s deaths.
So, what is the problem with the main character and his retaliation? It roots in his indecisiveness. Even his father’s death didn’t instigate him to act. Hamlet works on his vengeance plan very carefully throughout the whole play. In the end, his delay in action caused many unnecessary deaths: Gertrude’s, Laertes’s, Polonius’s, and Ophelia’s.
Although hesitation is a common phenomenon in Elizabethan revenge tragedies, Hamlet is unique because the main character’s revenge ends up almost as an accident. This way, one of the most prominent revenge tragedy elements becomes subverted. Besides, the whole story is morally ambiguous . You can’t point out who is right and who is wrong or pick the side. It’s not typical for revenge tragedies because usually, you can do both. That’s why this play is so extraordinary.
Still, Hamlet can be called a revenge tragedy because the rest of the elements are there.
- Does it have a vengeful ghost? Sure, it’s a ghost of Hamlet’s father who induces him to punish King Claudius.
- Are there mad and bloody scenes? They can be found there as well. In fact, Hamlet acts mad throughout the whole play, starting after his encounter with the ghost. One of the most notable examples is Hamlet’s absurd conversation with Polonius in act 2, scene 2. Moreover, the final scene can be called bloody as almost everyone in the court of Denmark is killed.
- Is there a play within a play? It’s included: it is The Murder of Gonzago .
As you can see, Hamlet is an ambiguous story about revenge that subverts some of the traditional elements. You can learn more about it from our Hamlet study guide .
Revenge in Hamlet Quotes
Below you will find the best revenge quotes from Hamlet . They reflect the inner hesitations and intentions of Hamlet and Laertes.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul so to his own conceit That from her working all his visage wann’d, Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function suiting With forms to his conceit—and all for nothing! ( Hamlet , act 2, scene 2)
Now might I do it pat, now he is praying, And now I’ll do ‘t. [He draws his sword.] And so he goes to heaven, And so am I revenged. That would be scanned: A villain kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send To heaven. ( Hamlet , act 3, scene 3)
How came he dead? I’ll not be juggled with. To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation. To this point I stand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged Most thoroughly for my father. ( Hamlet , act 4, scene 5)
Hamlet Revenge Essay Topics
Need to write an essay on the revenge theme in Hamlet? Check out these topics:
- Compare and contrast Hamlet’s and Laertes’s attitudes towards revenge .
- Would it be better if Hamlet killed Claudius right away ?
- The reasons behind Hamlet’s delay of his revenge.
- Vengeance and manipulation in Hamlet by Shakespeare.
- “To be, or not to be” soliloquy : how does it relate to Hamlet’s revenge?
- How do comedic elements subvert the revenge plot in Hamlet ?
- The moral ambiguity of vengeance in Hamlet .
- Fortinbras as an avenger.
- Why does the ghost of King Hamlet demand revenge?
- Compare and contrast the revenge plots in Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy .
Wuthering Heights Revenge
The themes of love and revenge are intertwined in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights . Heathcliff wanted to take revenge on Edgar Linton and Hindley Earnshaw because they separated him from Catherine Earnshaw, his true love. The problem is that this desire for vengeance blinded him and made him cruel. Having stuck in a cycle of revenge, he ruined the lives of innocent people.
In the beginning, Heathcliff directed his anger at Edgar and Hindley , who mocked him and deprived him of his beloved. The fact that he wanted to avenge himself is understandable. However, he chose the wrong method to get satisfaction: Heathcliff made their relatives suffer.
- He abused Isabella to get revenge on her brother Edgar.
- He treated Hindley’s son Hareton as a servant. He taught him vulgarities, paying no attention to his education. As a result, Hareton could only read his name.
Heathcliff believed only in long-term vengeance; that’s why he intended to make his offenders suffer for the rest of their lives. He fulfilled his promise, but still, it didn’t bring him the desired satisfaction.
As you can see, this novel is full of fascinating twists. Want to learn more? Check out our Wuthering Heights summary .
Wuthering Heights Revenge Quotes
In this section, we have gathered some quotes that reveal the revenge theme in the novel. Look through them to find out about the feelings and emotions of the protagonists.
I’m trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don’t care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do! ( Wuthering Heights , chapter 7)
He had the hypocrisy to represent a mourner: and previous to following with Hareton, he lifted the unfortunate child on to the table and muttered, with peculiar gusto, “Now, my bonny lad, you are mine! And we’ll see if one tree won’t grow as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it!” ( Wuthering Heights , chapter 17)
I meditated this plan—just to have one glimpse of your face, a stare of surprise, perhaps, and pretended pleasure; afterwards settle my score with Hindley. ( Wuthering Heights , chapter 10)
Revenge in Wuthering Heights Essay Topics
Write an excellent essay on Wuthering Heights with these topics:
- Revenge as a vicious cycle in Wuthering Heights .
- Compare and contrast Heathcliff’s and Hindley’s revenge.
- What made Heathcliff give up on his revenge?
- How does vengeance contribute to Heathcliff’s self-destructive behavior?
- The role of social inequality in Heathcliff’s vengeance.
- Does Heathcliff redeem himself after having his revenge on Hindley and Edgar?
- Love and vengeance in Wuthering Heights .
- Isabella Linton as a victim of Heathcliff’s vengeance.
- Why did Heathcliff choose Hareton as the target of his revenge?
- The long-term effects of Hindley’s revenge in Wuthering Heights
Revenge in Frankenstein
The revenge theme plays a significant role in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . Both protagonists want to pay back to each other. However, the reasons for their hate are different:
- Victor Frankenstein wants to kill the monster because the latter murdered his family.
- In contrast, the Creature’s revenge is rooted in his loneliness.
At the beginning of her novel, Shelley shows Frankenstein as an innocent young man with benevolent intentions. Unfortunately, his desire to become a pioneer in science ruined him in the end.
We can see that in this novel, a scientist assumed the role of a creator. Here, the author alludes to the Bible. Victor wanted to act as God, but when he brought his creature to life, it led to moral anarchy. Unlike God and his creation— Adam, Victor didn’t accept the Creature, considering him demonic. Such an attitude became the source of the monster’s desire to revenge. He wanted to have vengeance because he was neglected and abandoned. Neither his creator nor society accepted him.
In this gothic novel, the concept of revenge is depicted in an unusual way. It’s connected with one’s ego and ambitions, as well as social acceptance. If you want to learn more, feel free to read our article on themes in Frankenstein .
Frankenstein Revenge Quotes
Want to see the revenge theme in Frankenstein in action? This section contains some of the quotes that represent this topic in the novel.
“Devil,” I exclaimed, “do you dare approach me? And do you not fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head?” ( Frankenstein, chapter 10)
If you will comply with my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends. ( Frankenstein, chapter 10)
The mildness of my nature had fled, and all within me was turned to gall and bitterness. The nearer I approached to your habitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart. Snow fell, and the waters were hardened; but I rested not. ( Frankenstein, chapter 16)
Frankenstein Revenge Essay Topics
Explore the revenge theme in Mary Shelley’s novel with the following essay ideas:
- How does revenge create monstrosity in Frankenstein ?
- Compare and contrast Frankenstein’s and the Creature’s revenge.
- Was the Creature’s revenge aimed at Frankenstein or humanity as a whole?
- Explore the cycle of revenge in Frankenstein .
- Does the Creature succeed in getting his revenge on Frankenstein?
- How did prejudice contribute to the monster’s desire for vengeance?
- How does revenge turn into the only purpose of Frankenstein’s life?
- Vengeance vs. forgiveness in the Creature’s attitude towards Frankenstein.
- Why did the Creature choose to direct his revenge on Frankenstein’s family ?
- Is Victor’s love for his family the only reason for his vengeance?
In conclusion, we want to note that revenge is a somewhat controversial concept. You may think it will bring you consolation, but the reality is far from this. This simple truth can be found in the literary works we’ve analyzed in this article and many other stories.
We hope that you find our article interesting and useful. Don’t forget to share it with your friends! We would really appreciate it.
❓ Revenge Theme FAQs
This quote from chapter 16 reveals the revenge theme: “My feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.”
Both Victor and the Creature are driven by the desire for revenge. Frankenstein lost not only his relatives but also the opportunity to get appreciation for his creation. The monster, in turn, turned to revenge because of loneliness and rejection.
Hamlet teaches us that seeking justice through revenge doesn’t always bring desired results. In the tragedy, it led to many unnecessary deaths. The play also shows that revenge is a morally ambiguous action.
One of the novel’s messages is that social inequality can lead to personal destruction. The main character couldn’t marry his beloved because of his low social status. As a result, he turned into a vindictive person and ruined the lives of those around him.
The monster blamed his creator for not accepting him. He couldn’t understand the reason for his existence. He felt lonely and rejected. The message of the story is that creators are always responsible for their creations.
- The Power of Forgiveness: Why Revenge Doesn’t Work: Psychology Today
- The Complicated Psychology of Revenge: Association for Psychological Science
- The Hidden Upsides of Revenge: BBC
- Revenge Tragedy: Encyclopedia Britannica
- Hamlet and Revenge: British Library
- The Cycle of Revenge Can Be Broken: The New York Times
- What Do Restorative Justice and Revenge Have in Common?: EMU
- The Effects of Past Lives on Males in Wuthering Heights: A Comparative Analysis of Heathcliff and Hareton: Research Gate
- Revenge Stories of Modern Life: JSTOR
- Isolation and Revenge: Where Victor Frankenstein Went Wrong: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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Hamlet Revenge Essay Examples and Topics
Revenge in hamlet by shakespeare.
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The Theme of Hamlet Revenge Through the Play
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Summary: Revenge in the Case of Hamlet
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Summary: is Revenge Really a Must to Do
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Summary: Revenge Portrayed in Shakespeare’s Play Hamlet
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Sir John Appleby
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