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Shakespeare Quotations on Revenge

I am disgraced, impeach'd and baffled here,
Pierced to the soul with slander's venom'd spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breathed this poison.
Richard II (1.1.172)

If a Jew wrong a Christian,
what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian
wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you
teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
will better the instruction.
The Merchant of Venice (3.1.70)

The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.
Hamlet (3.2.250)

Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent:
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At game, a-swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't;
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damn'd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.
Hamlet (3.3.77)

How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge!
Hamlet (4.4.35-6)

O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
Hamlet (4.4.65-6)

Revenge should have no bounds.
Hamlet (4.7.143)

When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools: this a good block;
It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
A troop of horse with felt: I'll put 't in proof;
And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in-law,
Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!
King Lear (4.6.200-5)

I will have such revenges on you both,
That all the world shall--I will do such things,--
What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be
The terrors of the earth.
King Lear (2.4.305-9)

As for the brat of this accursed duke,
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
3 Henry VI (1.3.5-6)

Bastard of Orleans See, noble Charles,
the beacon of our friend;
The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
Charles Now shine it like a comet of revenge,
A prophet to the fall of all our foes!
1 Henry VI (3.2.30-3)

By most mechanical and dirty hand:
Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell
Alecto's snake,
For Doll is in. Pistol speaks nought but truth.
2 Henry IV (5.5.38-41)

Oft have I heard that grief softens the mind,
And makes it fearful and degenerate;
Think therefore on revenge and cease to weep.
2 Henry VI (4.4.1-3)

Had thy brethren here, their lives and thine
Were not revenge sufficient for me;
No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the house of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul;
And till I root out their accursed line
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
3 Henry VI (1.3.28-36)

My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all:
And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
3 Henry VI (1.4.35-8)

I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
3 Henry VI (2.3.31-3)

Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war.
Julius Caesar (3.1.271)

In the Spotlight

Quote in Context

O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
                          And fall a-cursing.
                                                           Hamlet (2.2), Hamlet

In addition to revealing Hamlet's plot to catch the king in his guilt, Hamlet's second soliloquy uncovers the very essence of Hamlet's true conflict. For he is undeniably committed to seeking revenge for his father, yet he cannot act on behalf of his father due to his revulsion toward extracting that cold and calculating revenge. Read on...


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