William Shakespeare 's ' The Spanish Tragedy '

2479 Words10 Pages
Within literature, genre is determined by subject, setting and plot. In book shops and library’s, books are organized and categorised by genre, making it extremely easy for the reader to find exactly what they are looking for. Generally, genre is very restricted- often making writers feel as though they must follow a specific set of rules and conventions if they want their piece of writing to fall into a particular genre with a certain theme. Throughout my essay, I will look into how Thomas Kyd’s ‘The Spanish Tragedy’ follows the traditional techniques we typically assume will be in a revenge tragedy, and how Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ follows these conventions as well as how Hamlet sometimes challenges the typical conventions of revenge tragedy plays and pushes them. I will also discuss the notion of revenge, as well as discuss how the two plays use the conventions of the genre to promote different ways of thinking about the ethics of revenge.
Revenge tragedy was a popular genre of drama in the late 16th and 17th centuries in England. People at this time enjoyed the blood and gore filled story lines typically featured in revenge tragedies. Revenge tragedies in there very basic plots contain the quest for vengeance, where carnage, madness, death of a loved one and mutilation are the very basic conventions which we expect to come across when we are reading a piece of this popular genre. Both the Spanish Tragedy and Hamlet are well known revenge tragedies following the same story
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