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Hamlet is a play that deals with the theme of revenge. How might the response of a modern audience differ from that of An Elizabethan audience?

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Hamlet Coursework Marie Edmunds Title- Hamlet is a play that deals with the theme of revenge. How might the response of a modern audience differ from that of An Elizabethan audience? William Shakespeare wrote hamlet, the play has a revenge tragedy genre. The play very closely follows the dramatic conventions of revenge in Elizabethan theatre. All revenge tragedies originally came from the Greeks. Then came Seneca who was very influential to all Elizabethan tragedy writers. Seneca created all the rules and ideas for revenge play writers in the Renaissance era, which included William Shakespeare. Hamlet has nearly all revenge conventions, which makes it a typical revenge play. We find out from the start, that the play will involve revenge. Hamlet sees a ghost which is his father ' I am thy fathers spirit' He tells Hamlet it was his brother Claudius who killed him and he tells hamlet to get revenge for him by killing Claudius ' revenge his foul and most unnatural murder'. ...read more.


This was after staging the play 'The Mousetrap' at the court and Claudius stormed out in rage. This convinced Hamlet that Claudius was guilty. However Hamlet did have strong doubts if he was doing the right and if the ghost was real due to his religion. At times Hamlet is sure it is the Devil not his father. ' the spirit I have seen may be the devil the devil hath power'. Hamlet also thinks that it is hell as well as heaven that makes him want revenge 'Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell'. Hamlet follows almost follows every aspect of Thomas Kyd's formula for a revenge tragedy however there is one part of it that does not follow the conventions, the accomplices on both sides were not killed because at the end of the play Horatio was the only one to survive. Although if it weren't for Hamlet, Horatio would have committed suicide when he said " I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. ...read more.


This could be why Hamlet thinks the ghost is the devil. This would also mean the response of a Elizabethan audience would be different from a modern audience. They would believe that Hamlet's father should not be telling him to get revenge whilst he was in Purgatory. They would be more shocked by this than an Elizabethan audience. An Elizabethan audience response would also be very different because of Church, State and the regular morals of the people in that age did not accept revenge. People would not accept revenge under any circumstances no matter what the original crime was. They believed that someone who takes revenge into their own hands like Hamlet did was going against the total political authority of the state. The Elizabethan people did simply not accept revenge they though of it as a sin and it was utterly condemned. However the people liked to see it in plays. Hamlet could agree with the Elizabethan audience because of all the other things that go wrong in the play due to Hamlet trying to get revenge. Hamlet doing wrong eventually leads to his own downfall. A lot of bdzt ...read more.

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