Revenge in the Public and Private Realms of The Spanish Tragedy Essay

Revenge in the Public and Private Realms of The Spanish Tragedy Essay

Length: 1377 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Revenge occurs in two realms: the private and the public. Private revenge occurs in secret with only a few people knowing about it. There is less need for justification because there are fewer people to justify the act to. Public revenge, on the other hand, operates as entertainment or a social event. Many people act as witnesses; this increases the need for justification. It can be assumed that private revenge occurs when one's motives are questionable; public revenge occurs when one's motives are fair. For this reason, Francis Bacon asserts “public revenges are for the most part fortunate...But in private revenges, it is not so.” (Bacon 14). Bacon's idea expresses itself in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, the first example of revenge tragedy on the English stage. Characters carry out both private and public revenges, with the baseless private revenges ending tragically and the public revenges resulting in success. The murder of Horatio by Balthazar and Lorenzo occurs during a private meeting between Horatio and Bellimperia. The two men hang and stab Horatio while Bellimperia screams for Hieronimo's help. While they are temporarily able to achieve some form of revenge, it eventually ends in their downfall. Balthazar and Lorenzo's murder by Hieronimo and Bellimperia, appears on a stage during a play put on for the King, the Duke of Castile, and the Viceroy. Hieronimo stabs Erasto, as played by Lorenzo; Bellimperia stabs Perseda, as played by Balthazar, before stabbing herself. Lorenzo and Horatio's private revenge ends in tragedy for them, while Hierinimo's public revenge gives him both agency and resolution.
Balthazar and Lorenzo's revenge on Horatio stems from their pride; their revenge is not warranting of a public reveng...


... middle of paper ...


...ath. But death is the only option for Hieronimo. Without the revenge plot, Hieronimo has no purpose left within the play. His wife killed herself, his son is dead, and to live would mean facing the monarchy. Killing himself is the best and only way to display his newfound agency. Dying also allows him to experience the pleasures that Don Andrea assures he will find in heaven, such as once again seeing his son.







Works Cited

"On Revenge" The Essays by Francis Bacon. 14. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. .
Kyd, Thomas. The Spanish Tragedy: Authoritative Text, Sources and Contexts, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2014. Print.
Smith, Molly. "The Theater and the Scaffold: Death as Spectacle in The Spanish Tragedy." Studies in English Literature 32.2 (1992): 217-32. JSTOR. Rice University. Web.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd Essay

- Elizabethan Revenge The Book of Exodus in the Holy Bible states that everyone should “give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”(NLT 21:23) in order for the world to be a fair place, and also so that everyone is punished properly for their wrongdoings. In the Elizabethan era, revenge is an extremely prevalent endeavor. It is almost as though they closely follow what the bible says about punishment and revenge in the Elizabethan theatre because specific incidents in revenge plays are nothing less than “eye for an eye”....   [tags: elizabethan revenge, bible, greeks]

Strong Essays
903 words (2.6 pages)

Justice and Revenge in The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd Essay

- Justice and Revenge in The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd Throughout 'The Spanish Tragedy', by Thomas Kyd, there is a constant theme of justice and revenge. Justice is the supreme law of the land; without justice, a country would fall into disrepute and those who are readily concerned with the status of society would have no grounds to stand upon. Therefore, those in power venerate justice. Revenge, however, upsets the delicate balance that holds Spanish society together. Hieronimo does his best to maintain a civil attitude towards incrimination and justice, but his plans for revenge lay waste to the very law he professes to adore....   [tags: Spanish Tragedy Thomas Kyd Essays]

Strong Essays
1904 words (5.4 pages)

Hamlet Is Revenge Tragedy Or Not? Essay

- In this essay I will be writing about whether Hamlet is a revenge tragedy or not, I will have an introduction which will introduce the meaning of a revenge tragedy, then I will have a main body of text in which I will explain why Hamlet is a true revenge tragedy and finally I will have a conclusion. “What is a revenge tragedy?” Well a revenge tragedy is when a character takes vengeance for a murdered victim, the character is usually a family member of the avenged victim. A Revenge tragedy conventionally results in the death of both the murderer and avenger....   [tags: Hamlet, Revenge play, Characters in Hamlet]

Strong Essays
1584 words (4.5 pages)

Utilization Of Spanish Speech Testing

- Utilization of Spanish Speech Testing Flores, Martin, and Champlin (1996) moved into studying the application of Spanish speech tests in a clinical setting. Their study involved audiologists from across five states with the highest reported Spanish speaking population at that time: New Mexico, Arizona, California, Texas, and Colorado (Flores, 1996). 35% of audiologists from each of the aforementioned states were chosen randomly to participate in the 26-question survey that requested information about current clinical approaches to providing audiological services to their respective Spanish populations (Flores, 1996)....   [tags: Spanish language, Language, Multilingualism]

Strong Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

The Realms Of Health Care Reform Essay

- The realms of health care reform and policies still plague the United States of America today. Currently, our nation continues to face health care disparities despite ongoing efforts to enhance the system. This discussion board will discuss health care policies related to access, equity, quality, and cost. In addition, I will address what health care reform represents to the uninsured and underinsured. Moreover, I will examine the implication of limited access to vulnerable populations. Finally, I will present what nurses can do to increase awareness of civil rights in health care....   [tags: Health care, United States, Health insurance]

Strong Essays
799 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Heroes and Revenge in Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy

- Heroes and Revenge in Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy In Elizabethan drama, it was accepted that the villains of the piece would, because of their evil methods and aims, be revealed and punished - in other words, justice would be served. The problem, however, arises when the "heroes" of the piece use the same methods as the villains. I use the term hero warily, as the traditional hero of a revenge tragedy is one who would at first seem completely unsuited to a revenging role; Heironimo is portrayed as being too old, while Hamlet is seen as being too young....   [tags: Compare Contrast Comparison]

Strong Essays
1385 words (4 pages)

The Influence of Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy on Hamlet by William Shakespeare

- The influence of Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy is seen throughout the use the ghost in Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. This scene marks the beginning of Hamlet's action towards revenge. Through the allusions of Greek mythology, death and revenge, Elizabethan tragedy is displayed in both dialogues. The ghost present in both plays fit the what the Elizabethans held about superstition. Depicted by Shakespeare and Kyd, the theme of revenge correlates between both ghosts' monologues. Both of their objectives are set on seeking retribution for a relative....   [tags: revenge, ghosts, mythology]

Strong Essays
584 words (1.7 pages)

Revenge in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy Essay

- Revenge in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (c. 1587) is generally considered the first of the English Renaissance "revenge-plays." A rich genre that includes, among others, Hamlet. These plays tend to be soaked in blood and steeped in madness. The genre is not original to the period, deriving from a revival of interest in the revenge tragedies of the Roman playwright Seneca. Nor is it exclusive to the past, as anyone who has seen the "Death Wish" or "Lethal Weapon" films can attest....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Revenge in Hamlet and The Revenger's Tragedy Essay

-     In this study of revenge and revengers in two Elizabethan revenge tragedies the two plays I shall look at are Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, and The Revenger's Tragedy, by Thomas Middleton. I shall look first at the playwrights' handling of the characters of the revengers, and then at the treatment of the revengers by other characters in the plays. Although having similarities in their underlying themes, and in their adherence to conventions, these two plays present contrasting pictures of the figure of the revenger; Hamlet offering a far more complex treatment of its main character, and The Revenger's Tragedy appearing, in comparison, limited by the author's social message, and lacking...   [tags: Elizabethan Revenge Tragedies]

Strong Essays
3225 words (9.2 pages)

Doubling in Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy Essay

- Doubling in Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy        The World's Classics version of Kyd's the Spanish Tragedy has more than fifty-three roles*. This number can go much higher depending on the exact number of plural parts the director decided to allot. In other words, the script may read simply "nobles," or "attendants" and the reader can not be completely sure of the number of people referred to. If the performing company was limited in players, there may be only two "knights" but if the director had a large cast he may send in six....   [tags: Spanish Tragedy Essays]

Free Essays
1845 words (5.3 pages)