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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
Revenge Plays
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0914  Wednesday, 21 April 2004

From:           Harry Keyishian <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Apr 2004 13:31:49 -0400
Subject:        Revenge Plays

Jack Heller asks about other Elizabethan/Jacobean revenge plays. To his
list, I would add Titus Andronicus, which, like The Spanish Tragedy, is
of the earlier revenge play tradition, in which a father seeks revenge
for injuries to a child. In the later revival, young revengers seek
retribution for the deaths of their fathers or lovers. These include
Marston's Antonio's Revenge, which offers many fascinating points of
comparison with Hamlet, and Thomas Chettle's Hoffman, Or a Revenge for a
Father, which is as over-the-top as a revenge play can get. (The villain
is dispatched by placing a burning crown on his head; there is an
Ophelia-like mad scene.) We should not forget Der Bestrafte Brudermord,
especially the desert island scene in which "Hamlet" tricks the pirates
into shooting each other by ducking when, one at each side, they try to
execute him. Amazing stuff.

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