Yeah, you read that right. The ghost tells us that he is Don Andrea, a Spanish courtier who was recently killed in a war with Portugal. These characters—and we do mean characters—will serve as Chorus for the rest of the play. It turns out that Balthazar, a creepy-stalker-type-guy who is also the heir apparent to the Portuguese throne, killed Andrea.
At the beginning of each act, Andrea bemoans the series of injustices that have taken place and then Revenge reassures him that those deserving will get their comeuppance. There is also a subplot concerning the enmity of two Portuguese noblemen, one of whom attempts to convince the Viceroy that his rival has murdered the missing Balthazar.
Despite her former feelings for Andrea, Bel-imperia soon falls for Horatio. She confesses that her love for Horatio is motivated partially by her desire for revenge: Bel-imperia intends to torment Balthazar, who killed her former lover Andrea.
Meanwhile, Balthazar is falling in love with Bel-imperia. The Spanish king decides that a marriage between Balthazar and Bel-imperia would be an excellent way to repair the peace with Portugal.
Lorenzo, suspecting that Bel-imperia has found a new lover, bribes her servant Pedringano and discovers that Horatio is the man.
He persuades Balthazar to help him murder Horatio during an assignation with Bel-imperia. Hieronimo and his wife Isabella find the body of their son hanged and stabbed, and Isabella is driven mad.
Revisions made to the original play supplement the scene with Hieronimo briefly losing his wits as well. Hieronimo, appointed judge, sentences Pedringano to death. Pedringano expects Lorenzo to procure his pardon, and Lorenzo, having written a fake letter of pardon, lets him believe this right up until the hangman drops Pedringano to his death.
Lorenzo manages to prevent Hieronimo from seeking justice by convincing the King that Horatio is alive and well. Furthermore, Lorenzo does not allow Hieronimo to see the King, claiming that he is too busy.
He rants incoherently and digs at the ground with his dagger.
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Regaining his senses, Hieronimo, along with Bel-imperia, feigns reconciliation with the murderers, and asks them to join him in putting on a play, Soliman and Persedato entertain the court.
Hieronimo tells everyone of the motive behind the murders, bites out his own tongue to prevent himself from talking under torture, and kills the Duke and then himself. Andrea and Revenge are satisfied, and promise to deliver suitable eternal punishments to the guilty parties.
The play is ostensibly Senecan with its bloody tragedy, rhetoric of the horrible, the character of the Ghost and typical revenge themes. The character of the Old Man, Senex, is seen as a direct reference to Seneca. For Kyd, the Ghost is part of the chorus, unlike in Thyestes where the Ghost leaves after the prologue.
Also, the Ghost is not a functioning prologue as he does not give the audience information about the major action on stage nor its conclusion. Revenge is akin to a medieval character that acts as a guide for those on a journey.
In SatiromastixThomas Dekker suggests that Jonson, in his early days as an actor, himself played Hieronimo. Yet most scholars reject the view that Jonson is the author of the additions. The literary style of the additions is judged to be un-Jonsonian;[ by whom? And John Marston appears to parody the painter scene in his play Antonio and Mellidaindicating that the scene must have been in existence and known to audiences by that time.
Scholars have proposed various identities for the author of the revisions, including Dekker, John Websterand Shakespeare—"Shakespeare has perhaps been the favorite in the continuing search Yet Sir Thomas More provides a precedent of Shakespeare working as a reviser in a surprising context.
Because revenge is the most obvious theme of the play, a lot of debate has been made over it. One can make judgments on the morality of Hieronimo based on his revenge-focused goals but the question many scholars face is whether the fault of his intentions is truly his.
Steven Justice theorises that the judgment of the play falls less on Hieronimo than on a society in which the tragedy results from a way of life. The court turns Hieronimo to revenge in pursuit of justice, when in reality it is quite different. The nature of murder and death, performed and as natural phenomena, is also questioned.
Smith considers the decade of the play relevant to the use of hangings, murders, and near deaths throughout the play. Horatio is hanged, Pedringano is hanged, Alexandro is nearly burnt at the stake, and Villuppo is assumed tortured and hanged.
Kyd consistently refers to mutilation, torture, and death, beginning early in the play when the ghost of Don Andrea describes his stay in the underworld: He vividly describes in these lines as well as others the frequency of murder and torture in the underworld.
Murder and death make up the tragedy theme that holds true through the last scene of the play. The central theme is essentially revenge. The given title explains that there is some sort of harm that has been put on the main character to make him want to seek revenge.
Revenge, however, is not the only theme.- The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd is a founder play of the tragedy during the Elizabethan period since it raises important issues of this time, such as the cruel and unfair death, revenge, social status as well as allegiance to the sovereign.
The Spanish Tragedy is included in the excellent Oxford World’s Classic anthology, Four Revenge Tragedies (The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Revenge of Bussy D’Ambois, and The Atheist’s Tragedy) (Oxford World’s Classics), which comes with extensive notes and a helpful introduction.
The Spanish Tragedy. Thomas Kyd Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text is based on that of the J.M. Dent and Sons (London) The Spanish Tragedy DON BAZULTO, an old man Three Citizens Portuguese Ambassador Enter the Ghost of Andrea, and with him Revenge.
Ghost. When this eternal substance of my soul Did . The play begins with a ghost talking to the audience. Yeah, you read that right. But wait, it get's even weirder, because the ghost is accompanied by a dude from Hell called, "Revenge." And that's not just his name—he is Revenge personified.
The ghost tells us that he is Don Andrea, a Spanish. Revenge Tragedy The revenge tragedy genre of English literature generally refers to a body of dramatic works written from the mids to the early s, from the Elizabethan to the Caroline period. The Spanish Tragedy follows these rules made by Kyd very closely, simply because Kyd developed these rules from the play.
The fundamental motive was revenge because that was the central theme of the play. The ghost of Andrea sees his father kill the men who murdered Andrea originally.