Look up the term “revenge tragedy”. What typical elements of Senecan revenge tragedy can you find in Hamlet?


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By definition Senecan tragedy was very bloodthirsty and was, in some ways, well designed for Elizabethan audiences. However, most Elizabethan dramatists did not follow Seneca's form of writing; rather, they used a revenge theme, an ending filled with blood and gore, and the otherworldly beings all included in the story. Obviously, Shakespeare used all of these elements in this play.

Revenge tragedys contain certain elements; one, a hero bent on avenging an evil deed (Hamlet), often encouraged by the apparition or ghost of a close friend or relative (Hamlet's father). You will also have scenes of death and mutilation, insanity (Hamlet once again), subplays, and the eventual death of the would be hero (a poison blade).