'''''The Revenger's Tragedy''''' is a Jacobean {{Revenge}} play written in 1606 by (scholars now believe) Thomas Middleton.

Disaffected AntiHero Vindice returns home to get revenge on the lustful Duke who poisoned Vindice's beloved, Gloriana, when she refused to sleep with him. It's convoluted, disgusting and full of over-the-top gory acts of vengeance. Some people think that it was intended as a parody of the revenge-tragedy genre so popular at the time. And of ''{{Hamlet}}'' in particular (see TakeThat, below).

There is a 2002 film adaptation which sets the play in post-apocalyptic Liverpool (or just Liverpool), and stars Creator/ChristopherEccleston as Vindice.
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!!This play provides examples of:
* AlasPoorYorick: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]]; since ''{{Hamlet}}'' came out a few years earlier, it's clearly poking fun at that scene.
* AntiHero: Vindice.
* BreakTheCutie: Vindice plays at doing this ''to his own sister'', and only stops after she realizes who he is.
* CharacterFilibuster: Vindice soliloquizes a few times.
* CrapsackWorld: One of the most grim.
* CruelToBeKind: Vindice does this to Castiza when he sees her again for the first time in nine years.
* CurtainCamouflage: Lussurioso leaps out [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything from behind an arras]] to confront his mother having sex with her step-son Spurio. [[spoiler:Turns out she's with his father, the Duke. Oops.]]
* DoubleEntendre: Dozens.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Vindice.
* ILoveTheDead: The Duke, raping Gloriana's corpse.
* ImpersonationParadox: Vindice is asked by Lussurioso to find and kill Piato (his disguised self).
* IncestIsRelative
* ItsPersonal
* KarmaHoudini: Vindice and Hippolito ''would'' have got away clean, if Vindice didn't [[spoiler:have to go and brag about it on his way out the door.]]
* KarmicDeath: The Duke poisoned Vindice's wife because she wouldn't sleep with him. So Vindice uses her ''skull'', with poison on the lips (the more you think about how this has to be staged, the weirder it gets. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dfw0BUSZus&feature=related And seeing it is stranger still...]]), as the instrument to poison the Duke.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Vindice does both, a few times. Most obviously in the line:
--> ''Is there no thunder left, or is't kept up''
--> ''In stock for heavier vengeance?''
---> [thunder rolls]
--> ''[[CrowningMomentOfFunny There it is!]]''
* LongLostRelative: When Vindice returns home, he is one of these.
* MasterOfDisguise: Vindice, as Piato.
* MeaningfulName: Nearly all of the characters are named for their most prominent attribute:
** Vindice = Vengeance
** Piato = Hidden
** Lussurioso = Lecherous
** Spurio = Bastard
** Ambitioso = Ambitious
** Dondolo = Idiot
** Nencio = Dolt
** Sordido = Corrupt
** Gratiana = Grace
** Castiza = Chastity
** Gloriana = Glorious
* MoralityPet: Gloriana, for Vindice.
* NietzscheWannabe: Vindice is pretty nihilistic.
* ParentalIncest: Between the Duchess and Spurio.
* {{Parody}}: Of revenge-tragedies.
* RealitySubtext: Since this play came out during the reign of James I, but the author is clearly looking back toward the days of [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Elizabeth I]], there are lots of references to women's virginity ("The Virgin Queen"), and anti-royal sentiments. (Not to mention that the name "Gloriana" was commonly used to refer to Elizabeth I in the poetry of her time.)
* RevengeBeforeReason: Very much so. In fact, [[spoiler:when Vindice brags to Antonio about how they killed the Duke, and everyone else in his family, and Antonio sentences them to death, Vindice seems happy to accept his fate]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Vindice.
* SketchySuccessor: Played with, as the Duke's sons scramble and backstab each other to be the new Duke.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Somewhat on the cynical side of the scale.
* SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate: Fate crops up a few times.
--> '''Vindice:''' Why, brother, it is fate!
--> '''Hippolito:''' It is, but whose? His or yours?
--> '''Vindice:''' I set my fate at naught, so that I have revenge.
* StealthInsult
* TakeThat: Several to the revenge-tragedy genre, and at ''{{Hamlet}}'' (which was first performed six years earlier) in particular.
** Like when Vindice [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dfw0BUSZus&feature=related talks to the skull of Gloriana]].
** Also, the whole incestuous backstabbing family.
** [[CurtainCamouflage Hiding behind an arras, anyone?]]
* TalkativeLoon: Vindice, although he isn't loony so much as he's insanely driven toward his purpose.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Vindice and Hippolito.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Gloriana.
* UpperClassTwit: Lussurioso.
* UpToEleven: Vindice's revenge.
* YouCantFightFate: Vindice says, "I set my fate at naught, so that I have revenge."
* WritersCannotDoMath: Played with. Rather, it's Lussurioso who can't add up.

!!The 2002 film version provides examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation: The 2002 version cuts some of the subplots, to streamline the story. And, you know, updates it a lot.
* AllStarCast: The 2002 film version has Creator/ChristopherEccleston as Vindice, Creator/EddieIzzard as Lussorioso, and Creator/DerekJacobi as the Duke.
* DarkerAndEdgier: You wouldn't think that was ''possible'', with this source material. But in the original play, the Duke and Duchess have no children together (Lussurioso is the Duke's son by a previous wife, Spurio by his mistress, while Ambitioso, Supervacuo, and Junior are the Duchess' children by a previous husband). The film makes them all one biological family, which means that: [[spoiler: the Duke sentences HIS SON Junior to death; Spurio has an affair with HIS MOTHER; Ambitioso and Supervacuo try to murder THEIR BROTHER Lussurioso]]. Pretty screwed up in a step-family, but even worse when they're blood relations.
* SettingUpdate: The movie adaptation updates it to PostApocalyptic Liverpool. Or just Liverpool.
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