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The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd (1585)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0713667923, Paperback)
The first fully-fledged example of revenge tragedy, the genre that
became so influential in later Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, The
Spanish Tragedy (1589) occupies a very special place in the history of
English Renaissance drama. Hieronimo, Knight-Marshal of Spain during
its war with Portugal, fails to obtain justice when his son is murdered
for courting Bel-Imperia, the Duke of Castile's daughter, and decides
to take justice into his own hands. In a scene replete with
meta-theatrical implications, Hieronimo and Bel-Imperia stage a playlet
with Portuguese and Spanish nobles as actors, stabbing them with real
'fake' daggers before they kill themselves. This edition, which appends
the scenes that were added in 1602, discusses Elizabethan attitudes to
revenge, the Senecan features of the play and the significance of the
Anglo-Spanish conflict in the 1580s.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:14 -0400)
Thomas Kyd was born in 1558 and is most noted as a pivotal figure in the development of Elizabethan drama. In his own time he was highly praised but fell into obscurity until re-discovery in the late 1700's. his most famous work is The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again, a tragedy written between 1582 and 1592 and established the then new genre of the revenge play. With the use of several violent murders and a structure of a play-within-a-play and a ghost intent on vengeance Kyd took drama in new directions that remain with us today. Thomas Kyd died in August 1594.
(summary from another edition)
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