The tragedy of Hamlet, prince of Denmark. William Shakespeare 1604. Before you Read…. The story of Hamlet was well over 700 years old at the time that Shakespeare wrote it. It first appeared in Historia Danica written by Saxo Grammaticus, a 12 th C Danish historian and monk.
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Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most famous, most written-about, most complex play.
Themes of death, corruption, evil, immortality, the nature of man, the search for self-identity, and the making of moral choice all appear in the play and are important for an understanding of it.
Sir Francis Bacon was a very influential writer in the Elizabethan period (In other words, a contemporary of Shakespeare). In one essay in his book, entitled "Of Revenge," Bacon outlines his argument against revenge. His main ideas in this essay, paraphrased, include:
A man is superior to his enemy if he refuses to take revenge.
A man who focuses on revenge only exacerbates his own suffering. ("This is certain, that a man that studies revenge, keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal, and do well.")
People who take revenge end up being haunted by it.
• verb1 (revenge oneself or be revenged) inflict revenge for an injury or wrong done to oneself. 2 inflict revenge on behalf of (someone else) or for (a wrong or injury)— ORIGIN Old French revencher, from Latin vindicare ‘claim, avenge’Revenge seems to stress the idea of retaliation a bit more strongly and implies real hatred as its motivation. The verb revenge is usually used with a reflexive pronoun: He revenged himself on those who had killed his parents.