The Spanish Tragedy

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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. These topics reached the population and it is probably due to this that The Spanish Tragedy was successful at the time. This paper will focus its analysis on the scene 2 of the first act, which is a short but meaningful passage of the play. This passage, which takes place at the beginning of the play, gives an idea of the initial situation. It allows the reader to become familiar with the characters, to know their role in the play and their intentions. This essay will be divided into four parts falling into line with the speaking turns of characters in this scene. The first part will focus on the General’s speech to the King of Spain. The second part will be concerned about the three times when Hieronimo pleads his son's cause to the King. The third part will look at the discussion between Balthazar, Prince of Portugal and the King of Spain. The fourth and final part will address on the quarrel between Lorenzo, the Spanish King’s nephew and Horatio, Hieronimo’s son and on how the King solves the quarrel by rewarding them for their acts.

The second scene of the first act of this play begins with a discussion between two characters, the King of Spain and the General. All begins when the King asks the General how goes his "camp ", in other words his army. General tells the King about the battle (lines 1 to 115). First, the General says everything is fine except for some losses. The General announces that the victory is on the Spanish side. The King asks details and here the General begins the ...

... middle of paper ... proud to show to the King that he led out this battle and that he won it. If he acts this way, this is only to receive King's recognition and also a chain representing the dedication to his King. Hieronimo chooses to defend his son. If he does this, it is because it is important to him that the King sees and approves the achievements of his son. Balthazar does not necessarily expect any gratitude from the King of Spain but he stays polite and is pleased that the King spares him torture. For what concerns Lorenzo and Horatio, each of them wants to be seen by the King as the one who managed to capture the enemy prince. They wrangle in front of the King, who has to play the arbiter in this situation. The irony in their dispute is that it does not even need to be seen that the capture of Balthazar is the result of a collaborative effort where both were important.

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