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Four Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy; The Revenger's Tragedy; The Revenge of Bussy d'Ambois; And the Atheist's Tragedy

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The Revenge Tragedy flourished in Britain during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The classic ingredients of the genre are a quest for vengeance, mad scenes, a play within a play, and carnage. Each of the four plays here subverts the genre, and deals with fundamental moral questions about justice and the individual, while registering the strains of life The Revenge Tragedy flourished in Britain during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The classic ingredients of the genre are a quest for vengeance, mad scenes, a


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The Revenge Tragedy flourished in Britain during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The classic ingredients of the genre are a quest for vengeance, mad scenes, a play within a play, and carnage. Each of the four plays here subverts the genre, and deals with fundamental moral questions about justice and the individual, while registering the strains of life The Revenge Tragedy flourished in Britain during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The classic ingredients of the genre are a quest for vengeance, mad scenes, a play within a play, and carnage. Each of the four plays here subverts the genre, and deals with fundamental moral questions about justice and the individual, while registering the strains of life in an increasingly fragile social hierarchy. This edition includes Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, the anonymous The Revenger's Tragedy (variously ascribed to Cyril Tourneur and Thomas Middleton), The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois by George Chapman, and Tourneur's The Atheist's Tragedy.

8 review for Four Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy; The Revenger's Tragedy; The Revenge of Bussy d'Ambois; And the Atheist's Tragedy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    It took nearly as long as my graduate studies to get to the end of this book, stopping and starting while trying to figure out which ludicrous name goes with which the put-upon hero or outrageous villain. I found it easier to try and fit them into film genres from various decades: Spanish Tragedy reads like a chaotic and especially cruel Marx Brothers talkie, Revenger's like a Hammer horror film that can't take itself too seriously, Bussy D'Ambois a spaghetti western based upon a much better Sam It took nearly as long as my graduate studies to get to the end of this book, stopping and starting while trying to figure out which ludicrous name goes with which the put-upon hero or outrageous villain. I found it easier to try and fit them into film genres from various decades: Spanish Tragedy reads like a chaotic and especially cruel Marx Brothers talkie, Revenger's like a Hammer horror film that can't take itself too seriously, Bussy D'Ambois a spaghetti western based upon a much better Samurai flick, and Atheist's a free-wheeling, 1960's road movie that ends with a messy bar brawl. For an audience culture, in its original context, that was typically so bloodthirsty their alternative entertainment choices were to watch a bear being torn apart by dogs or a horrific public execution, one would think the playwrights wouldn't take so long to deliver the gruesome good, yet each playwright piles on the speeches, perhaps morally wearing down their audience before the shocking coup de théâtre gets revealed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Heiner

    Collection of plays written in the period around when Shakespeare was writing that helped inform (and probably inspire) his writing.The Spanish Tragedy, by Thomas KydA body count that rivals Macbeth or Hamlet, but language that is simpler than you'll find in those plays, but not necessarily less beautiful or thoughtful.Moral of the story? Don't be the hand of vengeance. It will destroy you too."His men are slain, a weakening to his realm;His colours seized, a blot unto his name;His son distresse Collection of plays written in the period around when Shakespeare was writing that helped inform (and probably inspire) his writing.The Spanish Tragedy, by Thomas KydA body count that rivals Macbeth or Hamlet, but language that is simpler than you'll find in those plays, but not necessarily less beautiful or thoughtful.Moral of the story? Don't be the hand of vengeance. It will destroy you too."His men are slain, a weakening to his realm;His colours seized, a blot unto his name;His son distressed, a corrosive to his heart:"I.2.141-143"My late ambition hath disdained my faith,Those bloody wars have spent my treasure,And with my treasure, my people's blood,And with their blood, my joy and best beloved"I.3.33-37"I'll turn their friendship into fell despite,Their love to mortal hate, their day to night,Their hope into despair, their peace to war,Their joys to pain, their bliss to misery."I.5.5-8"In time the savage bull sustains the yoke,In time all haggard hawks will stoop to lure,In time small wedges cleave the hardest oak,In time the flint is pierced with softest shower."2.1. 3-6"Yet might she love me for my valiancy:Aye, but that's slandered by captivity.Yet might she love me to content her sire:Aye, but her reason masters that desire.Yet might she love me as her brother's friend:Aye, but her hopes aim at some other end.Yet might she love me to uprear her state:Aye, but perhaps she hopes some nobler mate.Yet might she love me as her beauty's thrall:Aye, but I fear she cannot love at all."2.1.19-28"Where words prevail not, violence prevails;But gold doth more than either of them both." 2.1.108-109"For die they shall—Slaves are ordained to no other end." 3.3.120-121"Here lay my hope, and here my hope hath end;Here lay my heart, and here my heart was slain;Here lay my treasure, here my treasure lost;Here lay my bliss, and here my bliss bereft;"4.4.89-92

  3. 5 out of 5

    Drah Ishmael

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Insliring

  4. 4 out of 5

    mistress.A

    3,75

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I've only read two out of the four so far and will definitely go back to reading the other two at some point in my literary life. I've only read two out of the four so far and will definitely go back to reading the other two at some point in my literary life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael P.

    Terrific edition of four of the best early modern English tragedies not written by Shakespeare. Do not skip the editor's introduction. It is very good and will enrich the reading of these plays. Terrific edition of four of the best early modern English tragedies not written by Shakespeare. Do not skip the editor's introduction. It is very good and will enrich the reading of these plays.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Although none of these are up with Shakespeare in terms of language they are still great fun and this is a superb edition.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tree

    Love this book. The Revenger's Tragedy is my favourite Renaissance plays, and this book has a very good copy. This book gives good notes and a good translations on all these plays. Love this book. The Revenger's Tragedy is my favourite Renaissance plays, and this book has a very good copy. This book gives good notes and a good translations on all these plays.

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