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Five Revenge Tragedies

The Spanish Tragedy, Hamlet, Antonio's Revenge, The Tragedy of Hoffman, The Revenger's Tragedy

by Emma Smith Editor · Thomas Kyd Author

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As the Elizabethan era gave way to the reign of James I, England grappled with corruption within the royal court and widespread religious anxiety. Dramatists responded with morally complex plays of dark wit and violent spectacle, exploring the nature of death, the abuse of power and vigilante justice. In Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy a father failed by the Spanish court seeks his own bloody retribution for his son's murder. Shakespeare's 1603 version of Hamlet creates an avenging Prince of unique psychological depth, while Chettle's The Tragedy of Hoffman is a fascinating reworking of Hamlet's themes, probably for a rival theatre company. In Marston's Antonio's Revenge, thwarted love leads inexorably to gory reprisals and in Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, malcontent Vindice unleashes an escalating orgy of mayhem on a debauched Duke for his bride's murder, in a ferocious satire reflecting the mounting disillusionment of the age. Emma Smith's introduction considers the political and religious climate behind the plays and the dramatic conventions within them. This edition includes a chronology, playwrights' biographies and suggestions for further reading.

Publication Details

Publisher:
Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint:
Penguin
Publication Date:
2012

Format

  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • Adobe EPUB eBook 1 MB

Thomas Kyd (Author)

William Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, ...

More about Thomas Kyd

Emma Smith (Editor)

Professor Emma J. Smith is lecturer in English at the University of Oxford, Professor of Shakespeare Studies, and a Fellow of Hertford College.

More about Emma Smith

Creators

Author :
Thomas Kyd
Author :
John Marston
Editor :
Emma Smith
Author :
William Shakespeare
Author :
Thomas Middleton
Author :
Henry Chettle
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