Revenge Tragedy Analysis

2466 Words 10 Pages
Revenge tragedy was a popular form of theater among the playwrights and the populace of the Elizabethan and Jacobean period. According to Broude, revenge tragedy is “fundamentally un-Christian, based upon a barbaric ethic derived from Senecan tragedy and the Anglo-Saxon blood feud” (1975: 39). The word revenge in renaissance period had a meaning near to retribution, and revenge plays were concerned mainly with divine retribution (cf. Ibid.: 39). During Jacobean period, some conventions were formed for revenge tragedy. First and foremost, a crime was committed against an individual, and for any reason, law and institutions were not able to restore justice. The main character who is being sinned against, hesitates whether to revenge or not and …show more content…
1600-01) is a revenge tragedy penned as a sequel to Antonio and Mellida (c. 1599), a revenge comedy. As it might be expected, the play follows some conventions of revenge tragedies, but in some other cases, it defies and disregards regular conventions. The play’s deviations from established conventions have to be added up to the manner by which it represents the act of revenge. Duke Piero is a villain who seeks to revenge on Andrugio, Maria’s husband, and win back the hands of Maria in marriage. He poisons Andrugio’s drink and pretends it as if he has had died of joy in the eve of the marriage of his son Antonio and Mellida, Piero’s daughter. With the help of Strozzo, Piero plans the murder of Antonio’s friend, Feliche, whose dead body is carried to Mellida’s chamber in order to accuse him of adultery; all resulting in the cancelling of marriage. Antonio is being informed of the villainies by the appearance of the ghost of his father, and it is then when he adopts role-playing and disguise -a form of creating a new self- to see those who have had plotted against him. He and Pandulpho, Feliche’s father, are driven to two different extremes of the pole: passion and reason respectively. Antonio decides to revenge on Piero, but Pandulpho sticks to reason and stoicism, and ridicules Antonio for being “player-like” (1. 2. 318). Antonio stabs Piero’s son, Julio. Finally, Pandulpho joins Antonio, they become mad and serve Piero the dismembered …show more content…
To consider Antonio and Pandulpho as two distinct characters representing human’s passion and reason, implies a simple, if not simplistic, characterization with no psychological complexity. Abdullah has noted this immature division of reason and passion in his psychological analysis of the play (1999: 44). In fact, to take for granted such a division raises some basic questions. If Pandulpho is related only to reason, why he later turns his back on it and joins Antonio in order to revenge on the villain Piero? In addition, Pandulpho’s language in rejecting Antonio’s passion seems mostly ironical and intentionally bloated. Here, Pandulpho laughs. He not only laughs, but laughs and laughs; he is given the opportunity to repeat ‘Ha, ha, ha!’ three times in fifty lines (Bowers 2000: 18). It is in no way the language of a father who finds his son murdered by a villain. What has not so far been offered as a more convincing interpretation is to view Pandulpho as a person who fails to take up the ‘suitable role.’ He takes up the role of the stoic first, but later in the fourth act, breaks down since he finds no appease in this

Related Documents