The Revengers Tragedy Biography of author (s) Cyril Tourneur Born 1575 Little known about Tourneur Much of his career was spent in military or diplomatic service. The Revengers Tragedy was published in 1607, but not ascribed to Tourneur until 1656, some 50 years after his death. Tourneur was ascribed three other plays, but two of them were lost. His literary reputation lies solely on The Revengers Tragedy.
In 1613 Tourneur was a government courier and a campaign soldier in 1614. In 1625 Tourneur accompanied Sir Edward on a naval expedition against Spain. The expedition failed and Sir Edwards flagship, The Royal Anna, was badly damaged with many of the crew killed or wounded, among them Tourneur. The ship reached port in Kinsale, Ireland, where Tourneur was put ashore.
February 28, 1625 Cyril Tourneur died. Thomas Middleton Born 1580 in London. Middleton began writing for the stage in the early 1600's. His plays that exist today were for the most part written in collaboration with Thomas Dekker, Michael Drayton, John Webster, and William Rowley. His two most powerful plays were The Changeling (1621), and Women Beware Women. In 1624 A Game at Cheese was closed after nine performances because of its anti-Spanish content.
Middleton was city chronologer of London from 1620-1625 (). The Revengers Tragedy was ascribed to Tourneur and believed to be solely his until the late nineteenth century when Middleton was proposed as the author. Since then, there has been debate over the authorship of the play with Middleton seeming the most likely candidate supported by recent statistical analysis. Comparisons with Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy Like Hamlet, The Revengers Tragedy focuses on the use of the hero musing upon a skull. Unlike Hamlet, Vindice appears to resist undergoing any sort of change; he is a static character. Unlike Hamlet, The Revengers Tragedy deliberately avoids psychological intricacy.
There are flat, extravagant characters with allegorical names as in morality plays. In political terms, The Revengers Tragedy is more conservative than The Spanish Tragedy. Unlike The Spanish Tragedy, The Revengers Tragedy does not suggest a disruptive alliance between male subordinates and female aristocrats, but depicts a contest among the men over possession of the women. Wives are but made to go to bed and feed (I. I).
The theatrical technique of The Revengers Tragedy is more original than that of The Spanish Tragedy. In both The Spanish Tragedy and The Revengers Tragedy successful revenge is connected with a moment of revelation. Unlike Hamlet, both The Spanish Tragedy and The Revengers Tragedy are deeply pessimistic. Unlike Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy, The Revengers Tragedy lacks the usual revenge-tragedy ghost. Unlike Hamlet, which is set in Denmark, The Spanish Tragedy and The Revengers Tragedy are both set in inaccurate or fictional locations. Major Themes or Ideas Found in The Revengers Tragedy Vindice derives his identity and purpose from his place at head of the family, and resists anything that disrupts kinship system.
i. e. adultery, rape, incest, and prostitution. The Revengers Tragedy is obsessed with the possibility of whoredom.
That woman is all male, whom none can enter (2. I). In The Revengers Tragedy, specific male privileges-supervision of daughters and sisters, access to wives and finaceesbecome to represent political rights in general. i.
e. It is Vindice right which reinforces his passion. All the sexually experienced women in The Revengers Tragedy are polluted in one way or another. The Revengers Tragedy emphasizes the artificiality, even the silliness, of many of the familiar procedures of English revenge tragedy. The Revengers Tragedy questions the logic of revenge-play conventions even while seeming to employ them. Act III, scene V This scene involves murder, incest, and deception all of which are driving forces in this work.
This scene contains many humorous and sarcastic moments that may not be evident when merely read. Watching actions on-stage has significantly different reaction upon reader / audience . While readers may overlook evil actions of characters when play is read, the audience is forced to watch their evil when the play is performed on-stage.