Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1603)
If not the original tale of wicked revenge, for 400 years Shakespeare's tragic play has reminded us of the catastrophic effects of 'an eye for an eye'. When Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home in mourning over the death of his father, he is horrified to discover his mother, Queen Gertrude, has swiftly remarried to the King's brother Claudius. After receiving a visit from a mysterious ghost, Hamlet is spurned to seek revenge, triggering a series of infamously unfortunate events. 'To be or not to be,' Hamlet famous ponders in Act 3, facing the inevitability of the pain of life when his vengeance doesn't go as planned.