Role of Revenge in "Hamlet" and "Medea" Comparison Essay by Stiffler1470

Role of Revenge in "Hamlet" and "Medea"
A comparative analysis of the theme of revenge in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and Euripides' "Medea".
# 144719 | 1,492 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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This paper examines how the plays "Hamlet" and "Medea", written by Shakespeare and Euripides respectively, have their themes centered on revenge. The paper explains that, in "Hamlet", the character of Hamlet seeks vengeance against his father's murder and similarly, in the play "Medea", the character of Medea plans a vendetta against her husband Jason for abandoning her. The paper also discusses how the theme of revenge plays a vital role in the development of the play as well as the development of the characters seeking vengeance.

From the Paper:

"In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the character of Hamlet is driven by revenge against his father's murder. Hamlet's revenge is essential in the development of the play as being the main theme. Since the beginning of the play, Hamlet vows revenge against his father's murder when speaking to his father's ghost: "Haste me to know't, that wings as swift/As meditation or the thoughts of love/May sweep to my revenge" (I.v.29-31). David Scott Kastan defines revenge in the case of Hamlet: "Revenge is, as Hamlet reluctantly discovers, a desperate mode of imitation, avenging wrongs with wrongs." Hamlet's vendetta only leads him to wrong doings and causing more harm than good. Hamlet "is only allowed only to re-act and to re-act the original crime" (Kastan 113). Hamlet continuously schemes ways of getting revenge against Claudius for murdering his father. Due to his personal vendetta, Hamlet goes through extreme measures in order to succeed."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Benditt, Theodore. "REVENGE." Philosophical Forum, 38.4 (2007): 357-363.
  • Federici-Nebbiosi, Susanna. "'Earth, Speak to Me, Grass, Speak to Me!' Trauma, Tragedy, and the Crash Between Cultures in Medea." Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16.4 (2006): 465-480.
  • Kastan, David Scott. "'His Semblable in His Mirror': Hamlet and the Imitation of Revenge." Shakespeare Studies, 19 (1987): 111-124.
  • "Medea." The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Shorter Second Edition ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2009. 616-646.
  • Shakespeare, William. Hamlet (Signet Classics). Revised ed. New York: Signet Classics, 1998. Print.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

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Role of Revenge in "Hamlet" and "Medea" (2010, September 28) Retrieved August 24, 2019, from

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"Role of Revenge in "Hamlet" and "Medea"" 28 September 2010. Web. 24 August. 2019. <>