Social & Psychological Forces that Lead to Self-Destruction
A discussion of two plays: “The Revengers Tragedies” by Middleton Thomas and Rowley Williams and “The Changeling” by Anon and the prevalence of murder and suicide within them.
This paper reviews the two plays “The Revengers Tragedies”, by Middleton Thomas and Rowley Williams, and “The Changeling”, by Anon and analyzes the social and psychological forces that can be said to be the reasons for the facilitation of the murder and suicide themes that are dominant to both plots.The paper gives an insight into the depths of human want and desire that is the cause of psychopathic and society hating characters.
“The Revengers Tragedies begins with the protagonist, Vendice, railing the duke, who he holds responsible for the death of his fiance. His brother joins him, bringing to his knowledge the lustful and unacceptable nature of the Dukes younger son, further strengthening. In the immediately following act we learn that the Dukes son, the younger son as he is referred to, is tried for the rape of a certain Lord Antonio’s wife. His mother and Ambitioso defend him, the younger son. Subsequently, as the play proceeds and the plot thickens, we find Vendice scouting around Lussurioso for information under the pretext of being his servant. While in disguise, Vendice discovers that it is actually Lussurioso who is the guilty one; he also further discovers that he, Lussurioso, is now planning to try for Castiza, who is Vendice’s sister. Vendice also learns of Lussurioso’s plans of proceeding to target Gratiana, Vendice’s mother, in the case of not having any luck with Castiza. Vendice even goes so far as to go to his sister, without disclosing his true identity, with Lussurioso’s offer, which is coldly turned down, to the pleasure of Vendice. Her morality and righteousness are clearly illustrated at this point. His mother, however, appears to have more tendencies to sway, suggesting her character to be rather fickle and she is later berated for this by both of her sons. The play builds up with Vendice dressing up the skeleton of his dead fiance, and, proceeding to apply poison to the mouth of the skull, he brings the duke into its presence. The Duke kisses the skull and while he is in his dying throes, Vendice discloses to him the entire scheme, including the fat that Antonio’s wife poisoned herself after being raped by the Duke’s son. At this point, it becomes rather apparent that Vendice and his brother are a vindictive pair and will stop at nothing in order to attain revenge.”
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