The tragedy of Hamlet is a revengeful play. Many aspects, within different characters, were brought forth to bring justice to one's actions. Revenge proclaims sanity to some, yet, at the same time, reveals truths to others. The success of Hamlet as a revenge play is based on Shakespeare's subtle handling of elements such as characterization, foreshadowing and irony. .
Characterization is the most important element in the play. Each character is described by their actions, what they say and what others say about them. The most revengeful characters in the play are Hamlet, the Ghost of King Hamlet, King Claudius and Laertes. Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, is very disturbed by his father's death and his mother's quick marriage to his uncle. Hamlet feels that, "Denmark is a prison." (p.987) While talking to his love, Ophelia, Hamlet describes himself clearly as being "proud, revengeful and ambitious." Young Prince Hamlet is accused of being mad, but it is the reason that no one understands. Is it love? Is it deceit? What is it that makes Hamlet, " mad as the sea and wind when both contend,"(p.1020) as his dear mother once stated. Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost and finds out about an awful murder. The ghost reveals many dark secrets of foul play. He clearly acknowledges that, "The serpent that did sting thy father's life, / Now wear's his crown."(I.: v.: 974). The truth of his murder is uncovered. Hamlet, being in the state that he is, has only his madness to help him meet his revenge. He has had a lot of misfortune happen that would drive anyone a .
little crazy. He also makes a point of saying, "I must be cruel only to be kind; this bad begins, and worse remains behind."(iii.: iv.: 1019). Many of his actions are explained by this saying. For example, his love relationship with Ophelia and his attitude towards his mother. Hamlet is driven to lunacy, yet remains a very intelligent and witty character.