Three Revenge Tragedies
The Revenger's Tragedy; The White Devil; The Changeling
Intense, masterul dramas of betrayal and violencenow back in print
Following Queen Elizabeth Iís reign, the new court of King James was beset by political instability and moral corruption. This atmosphere provided fertile ground for the dramatists of the age, who explored the ways in which social decadence and the abuse of power breed resentment, leading inexorably to violent retribution.
In Cyril Tourneurís The Revengerís Tragedy, the debauched son of an Italian Duke attempts to rape the virtuous Glorianaóa veiled reference to Elizabeth I. John Websterís The White Devil depicts a sinister world of intrigue and murderous infidelity, while The Changeling, perhaps Thomas Middletonís supreme achievement, powerfully portrays a woman bringing about her own unwitting destruction. All three are masterpieces of brooding intensity, dominated by images of decay, disillusionment, and death.