revenge tragedy

genre in which the theme is revenge and its consequences

Revenge tragedy (sometimes referred to as revenge drama, revenge play, or tragedy of blood) is a theoretical genre in which the principal theme is revenge and revenge's fatal consequences. Formally established by American educator Ashley H. Thorndike in his 1902 article "The Relations of Hamlet to Contemporary Revenge Plays," a revenge tragedy documents the progress of the protagonist's revenge plot and often leads to the demise of both the murderers and the avenger himself.The genre first appeared in early modern Britain with the publication of Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy during the latter half of the 16th century. Earlier works, such as Jasper Heywood's translations of Seneca (1560s) and Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville's play Gorbuduc (1561), are also considered revenge tragedies. Other well-known revenge tragedies include William Shakespeare's Hamlet (c.1599-1602), Titus Andronicus (c.1588-1593), and Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy (c.1606).
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