Theatre: The Revengers Tragedy

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

Disaffected Anti-Hero 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 Take That, below).

There is a 2002 film adaptation which sets the play in post-apocalyptic Liverpool (or just Liverpool), and stars Christopher Eccleston as Vindice.

This play provides examples of:

The 2002 film version provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The 2002 version cuts some of the subplots, to streamline the story. And, you know, updates it a lot.
  • All-Star Cast: The 2002 film version has Christopher Eccleston as Vindice, Eddie Izzard as Lussorioso, and Derek Jacobi as the Duke.
  • Darker and Edgier: 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: 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.
  • Setting Update: The movie adaptation updates it to Post Apocalyptic Liverpool. Or just Liverpool.