Hamlet is the most successful and famous play written by William Shakespeare. To understand it as a revenge tragedy we will have to understand about the literal meaning of revenge. According to Wikipedia revenge can be defined as-

“Revenge is defined as the act of committing a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance be it real or perceived .It is used to punish a wrong by going outside the law. Francis Bacon described revenge as a kind of “wild justice” that “does… offend the law and putteth the law out of office.”Primitive justice or retributive justice is often differentiated from more formal and refined forms of justice such as distributive justice and divine judgment”

In the very beginning of the play we can find the appearance of a ghost and it is confirmed by his appearances that the spirit is actually the spirit of the king who is no more now. When Horatio tells prince Hamlet that he has seen the shadow of king Hamlet then we find even prince Hamlet is surprised. In the communication between the ghost of the king and Prince Hamlet it is revealed that the king was murdered by his own brother. The ghost has lost his physical body and he wants to take revenge of his murder. This is one of the prime reasons that he discloses the story of his death. The first step of revenge starts from here and prince hamlet cannot take this truth as for granted. He is suspicious from very beginning of the play that how can his own mother marry his uncle so hastily. His confusions and questions are answered by the ghost and it becomes clear that prince Hamlet is not going to spare anybody. This kind of tragedy is attributed to Seneca who was an ancient Roman dramatist. He has written almost ten tragedies whose plot has been taken from Greek mythology. In Senecan tragedy we can find horrifying incidents taking place one after another. There are some parallels between Senecan tragedy and Shakespearean tragedy. In Hamlet we can find delay in action as prince Hamlet is busy in thinking what to do and what not to do. It can be seen by the famous soliloquy of Hamlet. It is worth quoting here-

             “To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;

To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub:

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…”

Thus it can be understood clearly that Hamlet thinks very deeply before taking any action and he is not irrational in this approach. There are violence and bloodshed but these can be justified as being the features of a successful revenge tragedy. We can find so many melodramatic actions in this play. The murder of Polonius is by mistake committed by prince Hamlet but Laertes is made to believe that Hamlet has killed his father in a fit of rage. This again acts as a plot and the story advances further. Laertes decides to take revenge because he loves his father more than anything else. Thus we can see that revenge is associated with love. Unfulfilled love can generate hatredness and we can see it in Ophelia. She loves her father very much and she cannot think even in her dreams that her lover can actually kill her father. She is unable to handle this reality and thus she turns mad. She starts behaving abnormally and finally she drowns herself. She is entrapped in the situation where she is unable to think what to do and what not to do. She finds solace in death and we will find that at the climax almost all the major characters die because Shakespeare believes in poetic justice. He cannot spare the culprits and in order to punish those even the hero has to stake his life. The mousetrap act is a kind of parody as it is a play with in a play. It is one of the most important tools of the revenge tragedies written during or before the Elizabethan period. In The Spanish Tragedy we can see the same thing. The protagonist prince Hamlet is at the centre of the play and his soliloquies show that in a revenge tragedy how a character is always in dilemma. He is passionate to take revenge but he is always rational. He got a chance to murder Claudius but he left the chance because Claudius was offering prayer to God. He knows that if he kills Claudius during the prayer then his soul will rest in heaven and he hates Claudius so much that he cannot see him in heaven. However several critics have said that this action of Hamlet proves that he lacks will power and self determination. It can be said that due to this lack of self determination and will power there is delay in his action. Whatever may be the reason but we cannot deny that even in poor circumstance Hamlet has the ability to think. On way to England he exchanges the letter and plots the execution of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Even In a fit of rage we can also see that Hamlet cannot kill his own mother but he starts hating her. The degree of hate is so intense that he cannot believe on any of the women of the world. He says that even a beast can wait for more than two months and mourn over the death of relatives but her own mother has married his uncle in haste. She cannot wait and it seems that she was waiting for the death of her ex-husband. Prince Hamlet is disturbed so much by this action of her mother that he says-

“Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month –
Let me not think on’t – Frailty, thy name is woman! –
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body…”

The above mentioned lines clearly shows the mental condition of prince Hamlet that why he keeps on thinking all the time. He starts hating the entire women kind and this is one of the reasons that he is unable to respond Ophelia’s love for him. When Ophelia dies then only he understands that he was in love with her and this love was not merely an attraction but it was the overflow of genuine emotion. This overflow of emotion can also be seen in the brother of Ophelia. Laertes is burning in the fire of revenge. He is the unhappy man because both his father and his sister is no more now. He loved both of them dearly. And he is made to believe that only Prince hamlet is responsible for both the deaths. Thus we can say that the whole play is a revenge tragedy. T.S.Eliot has said that the play lacks objective correlativity that is to say Hamlet shows confused emotions. As far as I think in Prince Hamlet the main problem is search for reality. When the ghost of his father says that his uncle is responsible for his death Prince Hamlet is surprised. It is also a fact that he cannot believe on a ghost that is why he brings the idea of the play which acts like a mousetrap. He says his friend Horatio to notice the reaction of the king. Thus we can say that Hamlet is a kind of person who is not confused but he wants to make all the confusions clear. Sometimes he is in dilemma but this dilemma is the specialty of Shakespeare who utilizes this as tool to make his readers engaged.