As Alfred Hitchcock once claimed: “Revenge is sweet and not fattening.”
Would you agree with this statement?
We bet you are striving to start philosophical reasoning in your revenge essay. Well, let us give you the first hint!
One can find the best revenge stories in literature. Thus, it will be your wisest decision to start the essay on revenge with a literary example.
Check out our ideas below!
✍️ How to Write a Good Revenge Essay? 5 Rules
You may be starting to wonder how to write a revenge essay if you’ve never done it before. Obviously, before getting down to writing, you have to get some essential key points.
We suggest you go through five good rules of creating an excellent essay on revenge.
Rule #1 No Condemnation in an Essay on Revenge
Revenge essays shouldn’t turn into sermons!
Instead of making judgments about a character’s behavior and actions, try to choose a more intelligent approach:
- Explore the background of characters thoroughly: those are most likely to give you the answers;
- Analyze the underlying reasons for the particular character’s deeds;
- Try to interpret the character’s behavior from a psychological perspective.
Rule #2 Less Description – More Analysis
Retelling is excellent when you are delivering the story to your friends. It works the other way round with a revenge essay.
- You should analyze the very depth of revenge with the help of the example;
- Do it by searching for all possible methods and techniques the author uses to describe revenge in literature.
Rule #3 Avoid Subjunctive Mood in Your Revenge Essay
There’s no sense in discussing how things would have turned out should a character acted differently. The revenge has already been implemented. We have no power to change anything.
- The best option is to perform the analysis based on the literary source data;
- Don’t use the subjunctive mood in topics about revenge. Just don’t.
Rule #4 Think Big – Revenge Is a Piece of a Larger Puzzle
In a literary work, there cannot be any accidents. Everything is intertwined and interrelated. This statement is especially true when it comes to a story with the revenge leitmotiv.
- Mind that the act of vengeance can’t be floating in the air. It indeed has the context. Look for it carefully.
- Insert this context into your essay on revenge.
Rule #5 Be Careful with the Personal Opinion
It’s easy to start making judgments about the events and characters’ behavior when writing a revenge essay. But you have to control yourself.
- Avoid expressing the biased and subjective assessment if the essay format doesn’t imply that;
- Try to create a perfect balance of analysis and expressing attitudes towards the events in a story.
🤴 Revenge in Literature: How to Write a Hamlet Revenge Essay
Perhaps, one of the best revenge stories in literature is Hamlet which unwinds very dark parts of a human soul. Vengeance is a propulsive force in Shakespearean drama. So, let’s see how it moves things in the play.
The Theme of Revenge in Hamlet
In ‘The Tragedy of Hamlet,’ revenge at times seems to become the lead character. Almost everyone tries to take revenge on others, using various forms. Avengers, successful and not, are convinced in the righteousness of their behavior. Except for Hamlet.
Let’s have a closer look at three extensive revenge themes in the play.
|Hamlet & Claudius
|Hamlet’s trying to take revenge on his father’s murderer. Feeling simultaneously the pressure of duty and the reluctance to fulfill it, Hamlet gradually loses the ground under his feet. In his way to avenge Claudius, he destroys Polonius, Ophelia, and Gertrude. He also catches his friends in infidelity and takes revenge on them, too.
|Laertes & Hamlet
|Laertes’ revenge on Hamlet for the deaths of his father and sister is another revenge theme in the play. Ophelia commits suicide in delirium because of her love for Hamlet. The prince takes Polonius for Claudius and kills the former. What should Laertes do to settle justice for his peace? The only way is to kill Hamlet.
|The starting point of the events: the Ghost’s desire to take revenge. The Ghost of the King carries the message of evil and treacherous fratricide to his son. No one else, apart from Hamlet and the murderer, knows what happened. The restless soul is striving to gain peace in heaven. The revenge is the price for that.
Revenge in Hamlet Topic Ideas
Here are the revenge essay topics you can develop from these three themes.
- Hamlet’s revenge.
- Why was Hamlet constantly delaying the implementation of retribution? Elaborate on the reasons for Hamlet’s lengthy deliberations. Was he born and meant for that? Does the concept of vengeance fit his nature?
- Did Hamlet love Ophelia, or was she a tool for revenge? Analyze the story of their relationships, how Hamlet eventually rejects Ophelia. Try to find answers in his attitude to his mother. Perhaps, he despises and blames all women?
- What drove Hamlet – his pride, madness, fairness? Or something else? Eventually, he accomplishes what the Ghost wanted from him. Why? Try to dive deeper into Hamlet’s character and attitude towards the society he lives in.
- Laertes’ revenge.
- Ponder over the incestuous relations between Laertes and Ophelia. Was Laertes’ affection for his sister the reason he tried to prevent her relations with Hamlet? Perhaps, that is why he decided to take revenge?
- Compare the passionate revenge of Laertes and the passive one of Hamlet: what do the young men have in common? What makes them different? Elaborate on their attitude to women: Hamlet to Gertrude and Laertes to Ophelia.
- Why was Laertes calling himself a bastard? And was he, indeed? Try to prove his words were nothing more but a grounding to his revenge on Hamlet.
- The Ghost’s revenge.
- Between Heaven and Hell. Why do you think the Ghost chose Hamlet to implement the revenge? Could the spirit of the murdered King know what consequences it would bring?
- The revenge is a matter of males. Elaborate on possible reasons why the Ghost didn’t want Gertrude to suffer from Hamlet’s revenge? Was she innocent?
- Were there the reasons for Hamlet not to believe the Ghost? Why was it so necessary to find proof for the evil deeds performed by Claudius? Try to build up a consistent connection between the will of the Ghost and Hamlet’s behavior.
Hamlet Quotes about Revenge
Nothing can be more illustrative than direct quotations about revenge.
We offer you this set of the most expressive Hamlet quotes.
- “For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ.”
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2
- “For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ.”
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2
- “For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ.”
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2
- “I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
That both the worlds I give to negligence,
Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged
Most thoroughly for my father.”
Laertes, Act 4, Scene 5
- “No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize;
Revenge should have no bounds.”
King Claudius, At 4, Scene 7
Here you can find more Hamlet quotes about revenge, and not only.
👩❤️👨 Revenge in Literature: How to Write a Wuthering Heights Revenge Essay
Another great story about the intricacies of life and revenge is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It introduces complicated and intertwined life stories where you can find a lot about love and revenge.
The story is rich in philosophical and social issues. Thus, a revenge essay based on Wuthering Heights is sure to turn out very fruitful.
Wuthering Heights Theme of Revenge
Revenge, bitter and unsatisfying, pierce the whole novel. Heathcliff performs as the main avenger, but there is more.
|Heathcliff & Hindley
|Heathcliff takes revenge on Hindley for the deprivation of the ordinary social life he could have had. Hindley experienced constant jealousy towards Heathcliff: the latter always had love and care with Mr.Earnshaw. So Hindley prevented the positive development of Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationships. The multiply occurring humiliation and abuse from Hindley also contributed to Heathcliff’s desire for revenge.
|Heathcliff & others
|Heathcliff distributes his rage onto everyone who is a part of the story. The bitterness of his feelings doesn’t let him release the old rows even after Catherine’s death. He appears to be almighty in his vengeance endeavors, putting old and young generations through sufferings. The targets of his revenge are Isabella, Edgar, Linton, and Cathy, Hareton, Hindley.
|Fate & Heathcliff
|Eventually, the primary victim becomes Heathcliff himself. Having gained the fortune, he could’ve lived a long and pleasant life. He chose a different path because his feelings had been preserved for too long. If we look upon the whole story and its end, doesn’t it become evident that Heathcliff is a martyr, a sufferer? Can’t we say that fate took revenge on him for being mean and unforgiving?
Wuthering Heights Revenge Topic Ideas
This is how you can elaborate on the theme of revenge in Wuthering Heights.
- Heathcliff and Hindley
- Are all children innocent? Why did they turn out to be vengeful adults? Traceback to the roots of mutual hatred between two boys: what was the start of it? Why was Hindley jealous of Heathcliff? Did Hindley have good ground for despising Heathcliff?
- What is the role of Mr. Earnshaw in the development of toxic relationships between Heathcliff and his family members? Was his bringing Heathcliff to the house a subconscious desire to avenge his children or prove something to them?
- Extreme anger sometimes happens to be the concealed liking, especially between men. Is it possible that Hindley had a latent affection for Heathcliff? If so, was his behavior justified a bit?
- Heathcliff and others
- Were the children (Hareton, Cathy, Linton) to suffer from Heathcliff’s vengeance? Do you think they are responsible for what their parents have done? Why didn’t Heathcliff spare them from suffering?
- Why did Catherine choose Edgar Linton to become her husband? Was it ever possible for Heathcliff to let them live? Catherine provoked Heathcliff on these feelings; was she aware of the potential consequences?
- What are the reasons for Heathcliff’s ill-treatment of Isabella? Was she a proper target for his outrageous revenge? Why didn’t she try to defend herself thoroughly from the abuse? Perhaps, she accepted herself as a sacrifice?
- Heathcliff’s fate
- What does the cycling structure of the novel mean? Elaborate on the reasons for such an outcome. Why was the society Heathcliff lived in so ill-fated? Do the participants deserve what they got?
- Think about the existential cycle of Heathcliff. Perhaps, his soul was cursed from the very beginning? Was he destined to make a journey filled with suffering through life for redemption? Can we speak about it in such terms at all?
- Build Heathcliff’s accurate psychological portrait and analyze his burning desire for revenge from this perspective. Was he mentally sick? Who, in your opinion, perfectly deserved the revenge, and who doesn’t?
Wuthering Heights Revenge Quotes
There were many words said about revenge in the novel by different characters. Let’s get to know them to understand the story better!
- “… the young master had learned to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, and Heathcliff as a usurper of his parent’s affections and his privileges; and he grew bitter with brooding over these injuries.”
Nelly Dean, Chapter 4
- “I’m trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don’t care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do!”
Heathcliff, Chapter 7
- “Whatever he may pretend, he wishes to provoke Edgar to desperation: he says he has married me on purpose to obtain power over him; and he sha’ n’t obtain it—I’ll die first! I just hope, I pray, that he may forget his diabolical prudence and kill me! The single pleasure I can imagine is to die, or to see him dead!”
Isabella, Chapter 14
- “You, and I… have each a great debt to settle with the man out yonder! If we were neither of us cowards, we might combine to discharge it. Are you as soft as your brother? Are you willing to endure to the last, and not once attempt a repayment?”
Hindley, Chapter 17
This is just a tiny part of quotes about revenge in Wuthering Heights. Look at this website to find more.
🧟 Revenge in Literature: How to Write a Frankenstein Revenge Essay
Perhaps, the story about the Frankenstein monster is the most tragic of all that we discuss in this article. One of the central themes in the novel is ultimate and outrageous revenge. However, we can feel sympathy towards the avengers. How come?
Let’s figure it out together, so you can write an excellent revenge essay!
The theme of Revenge in Frankenstein
There are two major revenge lines in the novel about the Frankenstein monster:
|The monster & Frankenstein
|The monster seeks revenge on his master, Frankenstein. Having no single clue about existence and society, he experiences rejection from his creator right away. This trauma doesn’t turn him into a murderer at once. But when he reaches toward people again and they turn him down, he feels desperate. It’s a tragedy that he learned from people about the world order because this knowledge opens up the bitter truth in front of him. People won’t ever accept him. Then, the flame of revenge starts to burn him out: he is striving to take revenge on Frankenstein and the whole of humanity.
|Frankenstein & the monster
|Frankenstein’s attempt to take vengeance on his monster. A human is notorious for endless attempts to play God. Some people have such a massive ego that they start acting as if they are the masters of the whole world. The same thing happens to Frankenstein. The young man is curious and self-confident: he wants to create a living being. But eventually, he is struck by abomination and horror towards his creature. This reckless desire leads to the creature’s miserable life. He damages Frankenstein’s life significantly, killing his loved ones. Frankenstein himself ends up having nothing except revenge.
Revenge in Frankenstein Topic Ideas
What are the ways to expand the theme of revenge in Frankenstein? Let’s look at some of them.
- The revenge of the monster
- Analyze the psychological portrait of the monster. Why do we feel sympathetic despite all the murders? Do you think his revenge was fully acknowledged and justified?
- Is it ethical to consider the monster to be just a flawed and imperfect human? Study through his motifs of revenge and methods of its implementation. Elaborate on the outcome the monster eventually came up to: was he genuinely remorseful?
- Why didn’t the monster kill his creator right away to take revenge on him? How did he understand that taking away the closest and beloved people from Frankenstein would hurt him more?
- The revenge of Frankenstein
- Did Frankenstein have the right to do what he did? Is it ethical to use dead body parts to satisfy your curiosity and create a monster? Why didn’t Frankenstein give in to the beast to prevent his revenge?
- Think of the reasons why Frankenstein stopped creating the female monster. Did he realize the consequences when he deprived the beast of his only hope of getting a partner? Was it a part of Frankenstein’s revenge?
- Does the young man deserve all this damage and pain the monster brought to him? Elaborate on the cyclic structure of the novel that starts with the monster’s creation and ends with Frankenstein’s death.
Frankenstein Revenge Quotes
To illustrate the characters’ motivation in your revenge essay, use these quotes from the novel! We have selected the most significant statements for you:
- “When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation. I would have made a pilgrimage to the highest peak of the Andes, could I when there have precipitated him to their base.”
Victor Frankenstein, Chapter 9
- “The nearer I approached to your habitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart.”
The monster, Chapter 16
- “Frankenstein! you belong then to my enemy–to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim.”
The monster, Chapter 16
Visit this website to see more quotes about revenge in Frankenstein.
📝 Revenge Essay Samples: Hamlet, Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein
Good news! The theoretical part is over, now we want you to look at some real examples of a revenge essay.
These are just excerpts from the essays, though they contain the main elements.
Hamlet Revenge Essay Example
“What would he do, had he the motive and the cue for passion that I have?” — exclaims Hamlet on seeing the actor performing on the stage. Endless reflections tear hamlet: to revenge or not to revenge? His constant postponing of vengeance has reasons. Deeply inside, subconsciously, he believes: even well-grounded revenge is poisonous and destructive. This idea is being proclaimed between the lines throughout the whole play. Evil causes evil, and this vicious circle is yet to be broken. Hamlet is a hero of another era: he needs solid and persuasive evidence to implement his revenge. The young prince wants to be sure whether the ghost is real if Claudius is an actual murderer. But even realizing the truth, he takes pains to set the mood for revenge, to pull his decisiveness together. “O, from this point forth my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!” are his words in Act 4. Other characters in the play may seem blind or half-blind and don’t notice obvious things. Perhaps, they don’t want to catch them to keep their consciousness clear. They are more shallow and less sensitive than the prince. Hamlet is almost the only person who sees through all the intrigues, making him sarcastic and suspicious. He mourns the passing of his father, but at the same time, the burden of revenge presses upon him. He’s undoubtedly not made for seeking revenge. This destructive thought starts to corrupt his mind and soul gradually. It is this spiritual splitting of his that leads to tragic consequences and pointless deaths of many people.
Wuthering Heights Revenge Essay Example
Wuthering Heights is a novel the plot of which is wrapped around the revenge purposes of the main character. We see the same circular structure as we do in many revenge stories: come events lead to the outcome where the only aim is taking vengeance. The problem is that no matter how fair revenge may seem to an avenger, it barely brings satisfaction. On the contrary, it destroys any virtues and even the whole fates. The trigger for the whole revenge story here is Hindley, who is jealous and mean in his very nature. It is the type of antagonist that is downright vicious: he seems to lack anything human in his heart. His unfair mistreatment plants the seeds of desire for revenge in Heathcliff. The latter grows up with a solid wish to pay Hindley back for all the damage. Heathcliff cannot be blamed for that: he was merely deprived of love and decent life in his childhood. We can only feel compassion towards him being so traumatized. Everything he did after is probably more dreadful than what Hindley did to him, but could it be different? Heathcliff is blinded by the striving to take revenge. The man loses any sense of reason. He also cannot stay safe and untouched, hurting other people. He ends up feeling even more bitter than he used to. We can clearly see that revenge didn’t bring Catherine back to him, while it was what he wanted in the first place.
Revenge in Frankenstein Essay Example
‘Frankenstein’ is sure to be not only a horror story with gothic elements but also a profound ethical parable. It touches upon very distant and dark aspects of human life. In a story about Frankenstein and his monster, we can see what can happen when a human is trying to play God. All these tragic events in the novel conclude: a human must remain human. Otherwise, a wannabe god will be paid back by the whole Universe and destroyed. This is what happened to the main character of Shelly’s story. The plot somehow refers to an old biblical story about Adam, Eve, and forbidden knowledge. What was the outcome of the first people’s selfish desire to know things that only God knows? They were exhaled and cursed forever from Eden. Before that happened, all pleasures were at their disposal. Victor had everything, too: wealthy and caring parents, a beautiful bride, loyal friends. When he started craving something above, the tragedy occurred. The point is that to be a creator means to have an enormous responsibility. Victor Frankenstein wasn’t ready to take it and to deal with his creature’s ugliness or with the prospective to teach his monster how to live. The creature was collecting the idea of life by bits. Realizing his creator’s nonchalance distresses the monster to a great extent. The only thing that is left to him due to his indescribable loneliness is revenge. Ironically, Shelley’s monster possesses more humanism and sensitiveness than real people. He wants to be helpful, tries to help people; eventually, he even repents for everything he’d committed.
If you’ve read our small samples and now wonder how to write your essay, please approach us. We are ready to assist you with any kind of question.
⚔️ 35 More Topics for a Revenge Essay
Of course, we wouldn’t limit you to only three literary works covering the theme of revenge. Here are other great topic ideas you can use for your essay on revenge.
- Revenge is a dish served cold: do you agree with this statement? Is it ethical to blow a strike back when the fight is over?
- A desire for revenge: what is a mix of feelings that drives a person to take vengeance on someone?
- The difference between thinking and acting: can one satisfy their thirst for revenge by only imagining it?
- Describe the possible or real situations where revenge is perfectly justified and grounded if there are such.
- Is it ethical for a modern person to consider taking revenge?
- Can verbal abuse be answered with physical revenge?
- Compare and contrast the depiction and development of the revenge themes in “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet.”
- Explore how revenge appears in mind, its triggers, and the psychological benefits.
- Forgiveness and revenge: what is fairer – to take revenge or forgive? How is one to make a choice?
- Is it acceptable to seek revenge when you know for sure your enemies are dysfunctional and weak?
- Compare and contrast how the revenge theme is covered in the original text of Hamlet and the movie.
- Consider the most famous and significant revenge stories in US history.
- Blood will have blood: reveal the development of the revenge themes in Shakespear’s famous play “Macbeth.“
- Mahatma Gandhi once said: ‘An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.’ But how can one reach justice if not through revenge?
- ‘Tell me, tutor, I said, is revenge a science or an art?’ asked one of the characters in Mark Lawrence’s “Prince of Thorns.” How would you answer this question?
- “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” These were the words of Marcus Aurelius written in “Meditations.” Do you agree that such ‘revenge’ is the best option?
- How does Aeschylus’s play “Agamemnon” prove that vengeance leads to no peace but causes more violence?
- Just and Sharp Revenge: compare and contrast revenge and justice themes in “Hamlet” and “The Spanish Tragedy.”
- Critical Analysis of “The Scarlet Letter”: Character analysis and the themes of revenge.
- The morality of revenge: how to draw the line between justified vengeance and violence?
- A man takes revenge on himself: elaborate on the magnificent twist of revenge in “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
- Why is “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn more about insanity than about revenge?
- Tell about your own experience with revenge: what were the reasons for it, your feelings after?
These were the most important things we wanted you to know when writing a revenge essay.
One more piece of advice for you.
Do not consider revenge as something necessarily wrong. Try to point out the reasons and intentions of a person who wants to take revenge.
Once you take such a position, you have a chance to write a perfect essay on revenge!
We wish you lots of inspiration and happy writing! 😉