The Revenger's Tragedy

The Revenger's Tragedy

Paperback New Mermaids

Edited by Brian Gibbons

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  • Publisher: METHUEN DRAMA
  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 12mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0713682841
  • ISBN 13: 9780713682847
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 102,777

Product description

"Oh do not jest thy doom" The Revenger's Tragedy is an intense tragic burlesque. Its hero, Vindice, desires to avenge the death of his betrothed. Operating in disguises he provokes discord among his enemies so that they plot against each other. It is an anonymous masterpiece (the play was entered in the Stationer's Register on 7th October 1607 without an author being named) produced at a crucial phase in Jacobean theatre with Hamlet, The Malcontent, Measure for Measure, Volpone and King Lear all recently performed. Written with vivid imagery, the play contains energetic, high-spirited action and brooding, slow-paced scenes on the subjects of death, revenge and evil, culminating in an unexpected ironic climax. This new student edition contains a completely re-edited text of the play and a new Introduction examining this unique combination of poetic tragedy, macabre farce and satire, focused on the dark brilliance of the hero Vindice. It also views the play in wider contexts - of contemporary attitudes to women, as well as contemporary debates concerning rebellion against tyranny.

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Author information

The Editor, Brian Gibbons has been a General Editor of The New Mermaids since 1974 and also a General Editor of The New Cambridge Shakespeare since its inception. He is the author of many articles about English Drama, of two books, Jacobean City Comedy and Shakespeare and Multiplicity, and editor of editions in The New Mermaids as well as The Arden Shakespeare and The New Cambridge Shakespeare.

Review quote

"How well our barbarous and sex-crazed times relate to the horrors and refined cruelties of Thomas Middleton's extraordinary Jacobean masterpiece...A drama that makes grim, poetic fun of lust-filled aristocrats and lesser folk up to plenty of bad, some of them steaming hot for sex, adultery, murder and revenge." Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard, 05.06.08 "There's a sardonic and even sadistic glee in his poetry and...a lot of dark, dangerous laughter to be found in the play." Benedict Nightingale, The Times, 06.06.08 "Middleton certainly had a sardonic eye for twisted and compromised morals...His poetry is a vibrant mix of the ornate and the blunt. His so-called tragedy boldly veers into morbid farce, sparking explosive laughter." Kate Bassett, Independent on Sunday, 08.06.08 "The Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge tragedies had more nasty killings and a higher body count than almost anything written by today's young pretenders, as well as a similarly steamy interest in perverse sex, too." Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 06.06.08 "[Middleton] is black-blooded, foul-mouthed, casual, uncaring - a pioneer of our common tongue, Ossuary English." Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times, 10.06.08