Year of Graduation


Document Type




Directing Professor

Marilyn Moriarty


This paper will examine the notion of revenge, beginning with a history of the revenge tragedy genre (including its roots in the works of Seneca) as well as how the term was used to depict retribution during the Renaissance. A brief explanation of the differences between the different versions of Hamlet and why they are relevant to revenge accompanies the historical background. Using Shakespeare s Hamlet as one of the most famous examples of the genre, this thesis also explains multiple revenge tragedies occurring in the play and the common threads that unify them into a single piece of drama (specifically King Hamlet). Finally, a discussion of the film version of Hamlet and director and actor Kenneth Branagh follows. Branagh’s interpretation supports all three of the revenging sons present in the text, primarily through his use of color scheme and his interpretation of certain characters.