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The Spanish Tragedie   By: (1558-1594)

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The Spanish Tragedie by Thomas Kyd is a gripping play that showcases the depths of human emotions and the consequences of revenge. Set against the backdrop of the Spanish court, the story takes a dark and tragic turn right from the start, keeping the readers on the edge of their seats.

Kyd's masterful storytelling skills shine through in his intricate plot, filled with intrigue, betrayal, and bloodshed. The characters are multi-dimensional, each with their own motives and desires that drive the narrative forward. The protagonist, Hieronimo, is a grieving father seeking justice for the murder of his son. As the play unfolds, we witness the transformation of Hieronimo from a grief-stricken and powerless man to a relentless force seeking revenge.

One of the most notable aspects of The Spanish Tragedie is the exploration of the psychological effects of revenge. Kyd delves deep into the minds of his characters, painting a vivid picture of the human psyche when consumed by a thirst for vengeance. The internal struggles faced by the characters are portrayed with great sensitivity, revealing the internal conflict and moral dilemmas they grapple with.

The language in the play is poetic and evocative, showcasing Kyd's talent as a playwright. The dialogue is filled with emotion, with characters delivering poignant soliloquies that convey their innermost thoughts and desires. The play also incorporates elements of dark humor, providing moments of respite amidst the escalating tragedy.

Furthermore, Kyd expertly weaves together various subplots that intersect with the main narrative, adding layers of complexity to the story. These subplots serve not only to enhance the plot's intricacy but also to highlight the consequences of actions and choices made by the characters.

While The Spanish Tragedie is undoubtedly a thrilling and engaging play, it is not without its flaws. The pacing at times feels uneven, with certain scenes dragging on and delaying the progression of the plot. Additionally, some characters are not fully developed, leaving their motives and actions feeling somewhat ambiguous.

In conclusion, The Spanish Tragedie is a captivating play that delves into the darkest corners of revenge and its impact on the human psyche. Kyd's skillful storytelling, along with his exploration of complex themes, ensures an unforgettable reading experience. Despite its minor flaws, this play remains a timeless classic that deserves recognition for its poignant portrayal of human nature, revenge, and the consequences that come with it.

First Page:



By Thomas Kyd


[Edited by John Matthews Manly, 1897. This electronic text is based on the earliest extant edition, which is undated but was printed before 1618. Some bracketed text is verbatim from Manly's edition. However, some bracketed text is taken from alternate editions which Manly originally supplied in footnotes. As the editor of this electronic edition, I have sometimes chosen the clearer of two alternatives, sacrificing the specificity of Manly's footnoted edition in favor of a text that has a better chance of being read and understood by a modern audience. I have also excluded the insertions supposed to have been written by Ben Johnson, as well as the additional dialogue from III.xiii and IV.iii. Some alternate dialogue has been included as has been labeled as such.]

Containing the lamentable end of DON HORATIO, and BEL IMPERIA: with the pittiful death of olde HIERONIMO.

Newly corrected and amended of such grosse faults as passed in the first impression.

At London

Printed by Edward Allde, for

Edward White


GHOST OF ANDREA REVENGE the Chorus. KING OF SPAIN. VICEROY OF PORTUGAL. DON CIPRIAN, duke of Castile. HIERONIMO, knight marshall of Spain... Continue reading book >>

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