The history of Hamlet begins with the father's death, king of Danimark, The queen, Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, has immediately married with died king's brother, Claudius. Hamlet meets his father's ghost, on the battlements of Elsinore; the father tells him that Claudius is guilty of his murder. In fact, while He was sleeping, the brother poured a poison into his ear. It is thanks to his brilliant mind that Hamlet pretends to be insane to observe the king and queen, so Hamlet asks the players to insert a same scene of the death of his father, in a Cort play. The king gets confuse and his reaction confirms that Claudius is guilty of the death of his brother. Then, by mistake, Hamlet stubs with a dagger Polonius, hidden behind a curtain, because He believed that It was Claudius. Ophelia, Polonius'daughter and Hamlet's lover, after his father's death, goes crazy and She drowns herself. Laerte, another Polonius'son, want to take his revenge. The king uses him to kill Hamlet during a fencing match. Laerte uses a poisoned foil causing the death of the main character, who, before dying, kills Laerte and mortally wounds the king. The queen, by mistake, drinks a poisoned cup that was intended to Hamlet and she dies.
The revenge plays were very popular in the Elizabethan theater. These plays, influenced by Seneca, have as main theme the revenge. In fact the main character tries to take his revenge in a crime.
The most famous revenge play is Hamlet. Its monologue is the most famous of all Shakespeare’s plays. Hamlet is so popular because He wasn't a hero but a character full of doubts and uncertainties in which We can recognize ourselves. The play is very close at our sensibility. Hamlet doesn't try immediately to take his revenge but He ponders of what He has to do and He doesn't know if he has to kill or not himself. It’s an example of the thought that kills the action. The critics believe that in Hamlet the language is fundamental because there are not important the event but the way in which the things are said.
We don’t observe a plain language but very tormented and allusive like our unconscious. The depth of this tragedy was unknown to other revenge play. This story wasn't invented by Shakespeare, but He reworked it. The critics gave a psychoanalytical reading believing that Hamlet’s hate towards uncle is caused as well also to oedipal relationship with his mother, an excessive jealousy towards her. The word oedipal derives from a Greek tragedy in which the king Edipo had a morbid relationship with his mother. Edipo was the son of the king of Thebes, to which had been announced (foretold) by an oracle that would be killed by his son. So the king gave the child to the peasants asking them to kill him but They decided to keep him. Then Edipo killed the king mistaking him for a vagabonds and so Thebes was hit by plague. Edipo, not knowing that She was his mother, married her. When he discovered that, her mother hung herself and Edipo blinded.