The Revenge Tragedy flourished in Britain in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy helped to establish the popularity of the genre, and it was followed by The Revenger's Tragedy, published anonymously and ascribed first to Cyril Tourneur and thento Thomas Middleton. George Chapman's The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois and Tourneur's The Atheist's Tragedy appeared soon after. Each of the four plays printed here defines the problems of the revenge genre, often by exploiting its conventions in unexpected directions. All deal with fundamental moral questions about the meaning of justice and the lengths to which victimized individuals may go to obtain it, whileregistering the strains of life in a rigid but increasingly fragile social hierarchy. Under the General Editoriship of Dr Michael Cordner, of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. In addition, there is a scholarly introduction and detailed annotation.
The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, 'Tis Pity She's A Whore and The White Devil
Author: Thomas Kyd
Publisher: A&C Black
Category: Literary Criticism
Francis Bacon described revenge as a 'kind of wild justice'. Then as now, early modern playwrights and their theatre-going public were fascinated by the anarchic energies that a desire for retribution unleashes. Rather than rehearsing familiar conventions, each of these plays presents a unique social and cultural milieu where dark fantasies of revenge are variously played out. In Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy a grieving father seeks public justice for the murder of his son by envious princelings. When his attempts are thwarted he turns a court spectacle of murder into the 'real' thing. Blackly comic in its tone and style, The Revenger's Tragedy (anon.) presents vengeance as mimetic art, witty and cruel. Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore represents an innovative re-working of the genre as a brother's love for his sister leads to his spectacular revenge on his rival, her husband, in a society in which brutal retaliation for perceived wrong is the norm. In Webster's The White Devil crimes of passion ignite revenge in the courts of the Italian city states. This student edition contains fully annotated, modernized texts of each play together with an introduction discussing the dramatic and poetic style of each play, focusing on its action and play of ideas.
City Comedy and Revenge Tragedy in the London Theater, 1576-1980
Author: Wendy Griswold
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Social Science
Renaissance Revivals examines patterns in the London revivals of two English Renaissance theatre genres over the past four centuries. Griswold's focus on revenge tragedies and city comedies illuminates the ongoing interaction between society and its cultural products. No cultural object is ever created anew, she argues, but is instead constructed from existing cultural genres and conventions, the visions and professional needs of the artist, and the interests of an audience. Thus, every "new play" is in part a renaissance and every "revival" is in part an entirely new cultural object.
Four of the playwright's greatest works: Hamlet; Macbeth; Othello; and Romeo and Juliet, the tale of the lovers whose names are synonymous with star-crossed romance. Includes two selections from the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
This project takes the human body and the bodily senses as joints that articulate new kinds of connections between church and theatre and overturns a longstanding notion about theatrical phenomenology in this period.
This four-volume Companion to Shakespeare's Works, compiled as a single entity, offers a uniquely comprehensive snapshot of current Shakespeare criticism. Brings together new essays from a mixture of younger and more established scholars from around the world - Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Examines each of Shakespeare’s plays and major poems, using all the resources of contemporary criticism, from performance studies to feminist, historicist, and textual analysis. Volumes are organized in relation to generic categories: namely the histories, the tragedies, the romantic comedies, and the late plays, problem plays and poems. Each volume contains individual essays on all texts in the relevant category, as well as more general essays looking at critical issues and approaches more widely relevant to the genre. Offers a provocative roadmap to Shakespeare studies at the dawning of the twenty-first century. This companion to Shakespeare’s tragedies contains original essays on every tragedy from Titus Andronicus to Coriolanus as well as thirteen additional essays on such topics as Shakespeare’s Roman tragedies, Shakespeare’s tragedies on film, Shakespeare’s tragedies of love, Hamlet in performance, and tragic emotion in Shakespeare.
The Semiotics of Rape in Renaissance English Literature traces the development of laws regarding rape in pre- and early modern England, including Anglo-Saxon, Norman, and Tudor changes to the legal code and how legal code, societal expectations of virtuous women, and medical theory interact to coerce silence from early modern rape victims. These forces come to play in the literary texts under examination, including poetry from Sir Philip Sidney and George Gascoigne and drama by William Shakespeare and Thomas Heywood. By examining the narratorial slippage, the gaps between the original Roman myth and the Elizabethan retellings of the narrative, this study seeks to tease out the sites of particularly English forms of misogyny and discover how this misogyny affects all women, not just those who are rape victims.
The Contracts of Fiction reconnects our fictional worlds to the rest of our lives. Countering the contemporary tendency to dismiss works of imagination as enjoyable but epistemologically inert, the book considers how various kinds of fictions construct, guide, and challenge institutional relationships within social groups. The contracts of fiction, like the contracts of language, law, kinship, and money, describe the rules by which members of a group toggle between tokens and types, between their material surroundings - the stuff of daily life - and the abstractions that give it value. Rethinking some familiar literary concepts such as genre and style from the perspective of recent work in the biological, cognitive, and brain sciences, the book displays how fictions engage bodies and minds in ways that help societies balance continuity and adaptability. Being part of a community means sharing the ways its members use stories, pictures, plays and movies, poems and songs, icons and relics, to generate usable knowledge about the people, objects, beliefs and values in their environment. Exposing the underlying structural and processing homologies among works of imagination and life processes such as metabolism and memory, Ellen Spolsky demonstrates the seamless connection of life to art by revealing the surprising dependence of both on disorder, imbalance, and uncertainty. In early modern London, for example, reformed religion, expanding trade, and changed demographics made the obsolescent courts a source of serious inequities. Just at that time, however, a flood of wildly popular revenge tragedies, such as Hamlet, by their very form, by their outrageous theatrical grotesques, were shouting the need for change in the justice system. A sustained discussion of the genre illustrates how biological homeostasis underpins the social balance that we maintain with difficulty, and how disorder itself incubates new understanding.
In The End of Satisfaction, Heather Hirschfeld recovers the historical specificity and the conceptual vigor of the term "satisfaction" during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Focusing on the term’s significance as an organizing principle of Christian repentance, she examines the ways in which Shakespeare and his contemporaries dramatized the consequences of its re- or de-valuation in the process of Reformation doctrinal change. The Protestant theology of repentance, Hirschfeld suggests, underwrote a variety of theatrical plots "to set things right" in a world shorn of the prospect of "making enough" (satisfacere). Hirschfeld’s semantic history traces today’s use of "satisfaction"—as an unexamined measure of inward gratification rather than a finely nuanced standard of relational exchange—to the pressures on legal, economic, and marital discourses wrought by the Protestant rejection of the Catholic sacrament of penance (contrition, confession, satisfaction) and represented imaginatively on the stage. In so doing, it offers fresh readings of the penitential economies of canonical plays including Dr. Faustus, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello; considers the doctrinal and generic importance of lesser-known plays including Enough Is as Good as a Feast and Love’s Pilgrimage; and opens new avenues into the study of literature and repentance in early modern England.
The Admirable Crichton; Peter Pan; When Wendy Grew Up; What Every Woman Knows; Mary Rose
Author: J. M. Barrie
Publisher: Clarendon Press
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
As well as being the author of the greatest of all children's plays, Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie also wrote sophisticated social comedy and political satire. The Admirable Crichton and What Every Woman Knows are shrewd and entertaining contributions to the politics of class and gender, while Mary Rose is one of the best ghost stories written for the stage.
This analysis of primary documents allows readers to understand Shakespeare's tragedies within the context of historical issues of Renaissance England. * Provides primary source documents for close reading of four of Shakespeare's most popular tragedies * Helps readers to relate primary source documents to Shakespeare's plays using narrative material * Offers an introductory essay as an overview of the social and historical context of the plays * Suggestions for further reading direct users to sources of additional information * Presents a chronology that summarizes relevant historical events
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: Gut, University of Bonn (Institut fur Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Keltologie), course: Revenge in the Renaissance, 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Sinister, unearthly, sometimes even all-knowing: Ghosts and metaphysical entities accompany stories, legends and and superstitious tales throughout the centuries. They are doomed as evil and satanic, or used to illustrate morality by "settling" their earthly bussiness with human evil-doers. They might even be good, yet can never completely to be trusted. Their connection with the dead makes them attractive as characters with powers above the human boundries. In the Elizabethan drama as in contrast to modern dramas, supernatural events and entities such as ghosts, apparitions, dreams and visions play a major and sometimes even crucial role in the plot. In this paper I would like to take a closer look at the Elizabethan fascination with the "unseen," how authors implemented it into their plays and what roles these ghosts and dreams played. Introductory I will look at the general view of the unnatrural from the Renaissance perspective. In order to stay within the proper range of this paper I have chosen a selection of four tragedies written by four different playwrights. In each of the plays, a ghostly character appears, mostly in dreamlike visions. I would like to discuss the scenes in which these characters appear and compare the characters with another in the conclusion of the paper.
The story of the play originates in the legend of Hamlet (Amleth) as recounted in the twelfth-century Danish History, a Latin text by Saxo the Grammarian. This version was later adapted into French by Francois de Belleforest in 1570. In it, the unscrupulous Feng kills his brother Horwendil and marries his brother's wife Gerutha. Horwendil's and Gerutha's son Amleth, although still young, decides to avenge his father's murder. He acts the fool in order to avoid suspicion, a strategy which succeeds in making the others think him harmless. With his mother's active support, Amleth succeeds in killing Feng. He is then proclaimed King of Denmark. This story is on the whole more straightforward than Shakespeare's adaptation. Shakespeare was likely aware of Saxo's version, along with another play performed in 1589 in which a ghost apparently calls out, "Hamlet, revenge!" The 1589 play is lost, leading to much scholarly speculation as to who might have authored it. Most scholars attribute it to Thomas Kyd, author of The Spanish Tragedy of 1587. The Spanish Tragedy shares many elements with Hamlet, such as a ghost seeking revenge, a secret crime, a play-within-a-play, a tortured hero who feigns madness, and a heroine who goes mad and commits suicide.The Spanish Tragedy was one of the first and most popular Elizabethan "revenge tragedies," a genre that Hamlet both epitomizes and complicates. Revenge tragedies typically share a few plot points. In all of them, some grievous insult or wrong requires vengeance. Often in these plays the conventional means of retribution (the courts of law, generally speaking) are unavailable because of the power of the guilty person or persons, who is often noble if not royal. Revenge tragedies also emphasize the subjective struggle of the avenger, who often fights (or feigns) madness and generally wallows in the moral difficulties of his situation. Finally, revenge tragedies end up with a dramatic bloodbath in which the guilty party is horribly and often ritualistically killed. Hamlet is not Shakespeare's first revenge tragedy - that distinction belongs to Titus Andronicus, a Marlovian horror-show containing all of the elements just mentioned. But Hamlet is generally considered the greatest revenge tragedy, if not the greatest tragedy, if not the greatest play, ever written.The central reason for the play's eminence is the character of Hamlet. His brooding, erratic nature has been analyzed by many of the most famous thinkers and artists of the past four centuries. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described him as a poet - a sensitive man who is too weak to deal with the political pressures of Denmark. Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud viewed Hamlet in terms of an "Oedipus complex," an overwhelming sexual desire for his mother. This complex is usually associated with the wish to kill one's father and sleep with one's mother. Freud points out that Hamlet's uncle has usurped his father's rightful place, and therefore has replaced his father as the man who must die. However, Freud is careful to note that Hamlet represents modern man precisely because he does not kill Claudius in order to sleep with his mother, but rather kills him to revenge his father's death. Political interpretations of Hamlet also abound, in which Hamlet stands for the spirit of political resistance, or represents a challenge to a corrupt regime. Stephen Greenblatt, the editor of the Norton Edition of Shakespeare, views these interpretive attempts of Hamlet as mirrors for the interpretation within the play itself - many of the characters who have to deal with Hamlet, including Polonius, Claudius, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, also develop theories to explain his behavior, none of which really succeeds in doing so. Indeed, nothing sure can be said about Hamlet except that it has been a perennial occasion for brilliant minds to explore some of the unanswerable questions of human existence.
This title examines the theme of revenge in Hamlet, Othello, True Grit, The Princess Bride, and "The Cask of Amontillado." It features four analysis papers that consider the revenge theme, each using different critical lenses, writing techniques, or aspects of the theme. Critical thinking questions, sidebars highlighting and explaining each thesis and argument, and other possible approaches for analysis help students understand the mechanics of essay writing. Features include a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Essential Library is an imprint of Abdo Publishing, a division of ABDO.