Shakespeare first uses the theme of revenge to create a constant conflict between Claudius and Hamlet.
In the beginning of the story Hamlet is visited by a ghost, presumably his deceased father. The ghost of Hamlet’s father says to Hamlet regarding Claudius, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (Shakespeare, I, V, 25). This moment was the first time Hamlet is introduced to the revenge plot between himself and Claudius. But in order to make sure that the ghost was really telling the truth Hamlet wants to make the king admit to the murder. To do this Hamlet calls up the players and has them perform the murder of Hamlet’s father by Claudius.
Although Claudius never verbally admits to the crime, Hamlet says that just by his reaction to the play Hamlet knows Claudius is guilty, ” O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound” (III, II, 281-282). After confirming his uncle’s guilt with Horatio, Hamlet now knows that he must resume his plot for revenge. Hamlets burning desire to revenge his father is the primary driving force behind the play.