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.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Andrew Gurr is Professor of English at Reading University.