A new, authoritative edition of five classic revenge plays
As the Elizabethan era gave way to the reign of James I, England grappled with corruption within the royal court and widespread religious anxiety. Dramatists responded with morally complex plays of dark wit and violent spectacle, exploring the nature of death, the abuse of power, and vigilante justice. This anthology presents five crucial tragedies of the era collected together for the first time, including Shakespeare’s 1603 version of Hamlet and Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, a ferocious satire that reflects the mounting disillusionment of the age.
The introduction by Shakespeare scholar Emma Smith explores the political and religious climate behind the plays, as well as their dramatic conventions.