|Author||: Katharine Eisaman Maus|
|Publisher||: Oxford University Press, USA|
|Total Pages||: 468|
|Rating||: 4/5 (84 Downloads)|
Book excerpt: The Revenge Tragedy flourished in Britain in the late Elizabethan and Jacobean period for both literary and cultural reasons. Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (1587) helped to establish the popularity of the genre, and it was followed by The Revenger's Tragedy (1606), published anonymously and ascribed first to Cyril Tourneur and then to Thomas Middleton. George Chapman's The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois and Tourneur's The Atheist's Tragedy were written between 1609 and 1610. Each of the four plays printed here defines the problems of the revenge genre, often by exploiting its conventions in unexpected directions. All deal with fundamental moral questions about the meaning of justice and the lengths to which victimized individuals may go to obtain it, while registering the social strains of life in a rigid but increasingly fragile social hierarchy.