The Revenger’s Tragedy

Brian Walsh
Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare
October 2016

This is the first collection of essays to be dedicated solely to The Revenger’s Tragedy, one of the most vital and enduring tragedies of the Jacobean era, and one of the few non-Shakespearean plays of that period that is still regularly revived on stage and taught in classrooms. Notable for its piercing insight into human depravity, its savage humor, and its florid theatricality, The Revenger’s Tragedy investigates more starkly than any other play of its era the fundamental issue of how the act of retribution warps, irrevocably, the mind and soul of the revenger. Through its plot, action, and language, The Revenger’s Tragedy is in explicit conversation with Hamlet and many other works by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, making it a fascinating lens through which to assess how Jacobean playwrights imitated, parodied, and revamped each other’s work for audiences hungry for repetitions and revisions of tried formulas. This collection draws together a team of international scholars to present a series of fresh perspectives on the play and its critical and performance history.