Definition of revenge tragedy in English:

revenge tragedy


  • [mass noun] A style of drama, popular in England during the late 16th and 17th centuries, in which the basic plot was a quest for vengeance and which typically featured scenes of carnage and mutilation. Examples of the genre include Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (1592) and John Webster's The Duchess Of Malfi (1623).

    • ‘John Webster's revenge tragedy The Duchess of Malfi is a dark thrillfest with a body count to rival a Tarantino film.’
    • ‘He would ultimately be released from the state institution where he was confined for four years, in a legal case that has all the drama and double-dealing of revenge tragedy.’
    • ‘If proof were needed of the unimportance of genre, revenge tragedy would serve.’
    • ‘Another sort of revenge tragedy, this fatalistic melodrama is suited to a filmmaker whose style leaves so little to chance.’
    • ‘It is smartly constructed, with the ever-increasing stakes of Katie Best's revenge tragedy pushing the play forward.’