22MarlowLylyKydJons - GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF REN DRAMA...

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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF REN. DRAMAMay 21st, 98I. Revenge Tragedies1. Kyd - The Spanish Tragedy /was the first of the kind in the English tradition/.2. Ur - Hamlet is of unknown author, some tend to ascribe it to Kyd.3. Sh wrote two plays that belong to the genre: Titus Andronicus /1593 - 4/ and then Hamlet /1601/.4. J. Marston - Antonio’s Revenge /1601/.5. Chapman - The Revenge of Bussy d’Ambois /1613/. What is interesting is that Chapman questions the very notion of revenge from the point of view of rational stoicism. Logically with him this type of drama came to an end because the very notion was questioned. This does not mean that he destroyed the genre but that he is indicative of the change in the attitude to the revenge.The notion of revenge is an interesting production in the Ren and the fact that it caught the imagination of the English audience is suggestive of some kind of meaning in revenge that Ren found congenial. Of course before the revenge tragedy there was theDe Casibus- the usual Latin way of referring to the traditional tragedy and it comes from Boccaccio’s work The Fall of Illustrious Man. This kind of drama was inherited from the Middle Ages and in fact Ch in his Cant. Tales incorporates series of such tragedies in his narrative in verse in the so-called Monk’s Tale. And in the prologue to this tale we have an attempt of Ch to define this traditional tragedy: “tragedy means a certain kind of story as old books tell of those who fell of glory, and were cast down out of their high degree into calamity and so they died.” This the notion that man should not be too sure in himself on this world, it is not his, this world is a place of trial for him. Man should always remember his sinful nature and fortune is not reliable. What we learn from them is the scheme of the Universe, the nature of man.The revenge tragedy is not like this, we come to man’s role in securing some kind of dignity and it depends on the particular human being. What makes all this very interesting is a passage from the Bible: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” said the Lord. This statement obviously prohibits, you should not handle revenge on your own it is God’s job to do it - it is also a promise. However the Bible says nothing how God will do sth about that promise - in this world or in the next. If it is in this world God does not participate in our dealings directly so he must use an instrument - is the Revenger his instrument? There is a parallel story - The Scourge of God- this is a Medieval belief that this is a man used by God to punish villainy. However the story says that the lash with which the child is beaten must be thrown into the fire, so the instrument of ‘evil’ also must be destroyed. This story is very close, parallel to the story of the revenger. In Marlowe Tamburlaine is such a kind of instrument and he proudly calls himself that but ironically he must be destroyed too. Hamlet is brought to this

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