The Jacobean Theater of Horror

  • Tony Perrello


The playwrights of early modern Britain, including Marlowe, Kyd, Webster, and Shakespeare, created immensely popular works that explore, in gory detail, themes of blood revenge and the horror that it breeds in the viscera of the social body. Today, interest in revenge horror is seeing a marked resurgence of popularity. This chapter explicates the horror of early modern tragedy, from its onstage inception with Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy to the plays of John Webster, tracing links between tragedies of blood and current horror fiction and film. Aside from exploring the motifs and images that recur in these not-so-distinct genres, such as dismemberment, incest, and cannibalism, the chapter treats the archetypal figure of the hero-avenger, who—like potentially any ordinary person—harbors a monster within.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Perrello
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University, StanislausTurlockUSA

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