Shakespeare and Revenge
Welcome to the dark side of Shakespeare. You didn't think he was all sonnets, roses, and romantic Romeos, did you?
|Author||Shakespeare - William Shakespeare|
|Literary Topics||Author Highlights|
The thing with revenge is, it's kind of like a steamroller... it flattens everything in
…whether it’s your desired target, or those fluffy kittens who were just crossing
Thankfully, Shakespeare's bloodthirsty characters don't have access to heavy machinery, but
most of them end up mowing down the innocent along with the guilty.
Iago takes down his frenemy, Othello, but his wife doesn't really get to celebrate with
him, since she's so busy… getting stabbed. Richard III basically develops a 5 year plan
devoted to spreading misery and despair, and all without the services of a personal assistant.
It's easy to boo these two model citizens, but what about those with righteous causes,
like Hamlet, who starts stabbing blindly and tapestries, and Titus, who likes to… cook
with young people?
If your family member was hurt or killed, and the evildoer was still waltzing around
… would you be able to let it go?
If you were in the Prince of Denmark's shoes… and stylishly matching hose… a little payback
would be hard to resist, even without spectral encouragement.
Justified or not, once revenge has been freed, it's hard to get back in the cage.
It's having way too much fun chasing cars and leaving land mines in your neighbors’
Maybe that's why so many of Shakespeare's plays end in piles of bodies.
Shakespeare always seems to side with karma.
If you decide to go vigilante, the chances are good that you’ll get served in the end.
Richard III bites it on the battlefield, and while Iago doesn’t croak, he’s definitely
grounded for the whole summer.
You’d think Hamlet and Titus would at least get credit for just cause, but Titus’ cooking
goes sadly unappreciated…
…and Hamlet dies with his enemies, all at once, like Shakespeare forgot he left the
iron on or something.
Most of these guys end up getting their way, but not until “the circle of revenge”
The few characters that survive are lucky to be left standing when the curtain drops.
No way to deny it, Shakespeare knew his way around a grudge.
His characters don’t mind breaking a few eggs, as long as they get that really delicious
revenge omelette with a side of crispy angst.
Villains like Iago and Richard III leave no stone unturned and no handkerchief unburgled
in their quest for mastery…
…but in the end, they go down just like the good guys.