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Four Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, 'Tis Pity She's A Whore and The White Devil

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Francis Bacon described revenge as a 'kind of wild justice'. Then as now, early modern playwrights and their theatre-going public were fascinated by the anarchic energies that a desire for retribution unleashes. Rather than rehearsing familiar conventions, each of these plays presents a unique social and cultural milieu where dark fantasies of revenge are variously played out. In Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy a grieving father seeks public justice for the murder of his son by envious princelings. When his attempts are thwarted ...

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