And so I am revenged.

There was that interesting moment in theatre history when revenge plays were all the rage, of which this is one. It makes me curious about why. Why, in this particular moment in history, was revenge so important? What social anthropologist has worked out the significance of revenge to the English people in the Renaissance? Because, yes, it is fantastic fodder for drama. This drive – this vengeance is delicious in the Revenger’s Tragedy, The Spanish Tragedy and of course, here in Hamlet. But we don’t really write Revenge stories much anymore – Is it that we’ve somehow evolved past them? That we are driven less by honor and revenge and use more of our common sense in this area? It would be nice to believe so. But I’m not entirely sure – it could just be that once Shakespeare wrote this one, no one ever felt they could top it – so the trend just dried up.


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