Thomas Kyd The Spanish Tragedy

ISBN 13: 9781463570729

The Spanish Tragedy

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9781463570729: The Spanish Tragedy
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The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again is an Elizabethan tragedy written by Thomas Kyd between 1582 and 1592. Highly popular and influential in its time, The Spanish Tragedy established a new genre in English theatre, the revenge play or revenge tragedy. Its plot contains several violent murders and includes as one of its characters a personification of Revenge. The Spanish Tragedy was often referred to (or parodied) in works written by other Elizabethan playwrights, including William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Christopher Marlowe. Many elements of The Spanish Tragedy, such as the play-within-a-play used to trap a murderer and a ghost intent on vengeance, appear in Shakespeare's Hamlet. (Thomas Kyd is frequently proposed as the author of the hypothetical Ur-Hamlet that may have been one of Shakespeare's primary sources for Hamlet.)

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From the Back Cover:

The Spanish Tragedy became one of the most successful plays on the Elizabethan English stage and laid the foundation of the revenge tragedy, a genre that playwrights returned to throughout the early modern era and that endures even today. The story surrounds the civil servant Hieronimo, who joins Bel-imperia of the royal family to take revenge on her own brother for murdering Hieronimo’s son, the object of her affection. The work goes far beyond a story of intrigue and brings up questions of aristocratic privilege, the moral hazards of revenge, the spectacle of violence, and the agency of women at court.

This Broadview Edition includes a freshly edited text based on the 1592 edition, notes designed to help first-time readers understand and enjoy the work, an extensive introduction that situates the play in its literary and historical context, and extensive historical documents. The documents open up avenues of inquiry for students interested in the life and work of Thomas Kyd, the construction of women at court, the question of revenge, violence, and entertainment in Elizabethan England, and Spain in the Elizabethan imagination.

About the Author:

Thomas Kyd (1558–1594) was an English dramatist, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, and one of the most important figures in the development of Elizabethan drama. Although well-known in his own time, Kyd fell into obscurity until 1773 when Thomas Hawkins (an early editor of The Spanish Tragedy) discovered that Kyd was named as its author by Thomas Heywood in his Apologie for Actors (1612). A hundred years later, scholars in Germany and England began to shed light on his life and work, including the controversial finding that he may have been the author of a Hamlet play pre-dating Shakespeare's.

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