The plot in Spanish Tragedy is built on the basis of three conventional devices originating from the Roman tragedies of Seneca. One is the revenge for a killed relative, the second is a ghost and the third is the significant use of rant and monologue in the play. To this, Thomas added bizarre characters with perverse mental twists that are suicides, psychopaths, and murderers. Additionally, Thomas employed the use of a play within a play. He outshined all his peers in his ability to develop thought-provoking stage tricks.
The themes of revenge and justice play a pivotal role within a majority of characters in the play. Most importantly, the play introduces the audience to Andrea and the character of revenge. Andrea mainly relies on revenge to justify his murder. The strong-willed female character in the play Bel-Imperia also seeks revenge for all the harm done to her. She has lost both Horatio and Don Andrea and therefore seeks revenge on Balthazaar which eventually backfires. Hieronomo considers joining his dead son Horatio but eventually changes his mind in the name of revenge and justice.
"When this endless substance of my soul lived imprisoned in my flesh each serving other's need, I was an attendant in the Spanish court...For in the late battle with Portingale my courage drew me into danger, till life to death made way through my wounds." These are Andrea's words to the audience. These words are spoken in Act 1 in the first scene, lines 1-17. These lines are significant since they serve as an exposition, describing the main idea in the play. They lead to the description of Andrea's long adventure to the underworld, and his ability to seek justice there. Thus, the section presents the chief characters and themes of the play.
The plot of the play and the Spanish history have quite a strong connection and the conflict is shown by the clash between the characters themselves. The plot revolves primarily around Rodrigo, also known as the Cid, the son of Diego and Chimene, who is Gormais's daughter. Being the main characters, they have to choose between love and respect, feelings and reason, wishes and responsibility. Like in many cases, the plot employs historic sources and legends (Corneille).
The plot in Pierre Corneille's play Le Cid significantly highlights the role of women. In terms of women's role in the play, their significance as characters and their feminine roles as well as how they interact with men in the play is of importance. In the play, Corneille gives Chimene, his main character a pivotal role in the plot. She is treated with fairness in relation to men and remarkably, even takes on some masculine aspects in the play.
Honour is the pivotal theme of the play. It is for his father's respect that Rodrigue challenges his future father in law to a contest at the start of the play. Rodrigue's father was dishonoured by a slap and the fact that we were weak to challenge Gomes. Honor dictates that Rodrigue must fight Gomes. Since disrespect to his father is disrespect to him too. In the play, honor is more significant than love. For if Rodrigue is dishonoured, then he is not worthy of Chimene's love. Interestingly, the only modern act of honor depicted in the play is one in which Cid spares Sanchez's life. In the modern age, a slap might be humiliating but it is not worthy of a fight. A fight, in this case, would be deemed illegal. Also, a father might be jailed if he sends his son to kill a man for merely insulting him.
All for Love
In the play "All for Love", Dryden recasts the story of Antony and Cleopatra after Shakespeare. His reasons are: He wanted to try his own efforts, he wanted to give an important moral. Additionally, he wanted to demonstrate that our passions lie within our power. Primarily, Dryden wanted to bring forth a tale of the consequences of failing to live a righteous life.
The importance of the play is the aspect of restoration. In English history, restoration is the period that followed Puritan Cromwell's death. He had put King Charles the first to death and taken the throne and ruled as Protestant republic in England. As such, Dryden dedicates the play to King Charles the second, the restored King of England. Any play written during this era is known as the restoration plays.
Antony and Cleopatra's love is the pivotal theme in the play "All for Love". They admitted that their love was forbidden and thus led them to their destruction. Cleopatra's love for Antony is portrayed when she ordered people to decorate the pavements with flowers and the priests to sacrifice to God since it was Antony's birthday. Also because of her love for Antony, she refused to go to Egypt and Syria to become Octavius's ally in a bid to forsake Antony. Antony also shows his love for Cleopatra when he asks Dollabella to send his message as he added soft and kind words because he cared and was leaving her. Before he died, Antony made up with his Cleopatra and when he was about Cleopatra's fake death his guilt goes the better part of him and decided to kill himself. As such, it vital to learn that love is somewhat an art and it transforms people.
Corneille, Pierre. The Cid. n.d. https://www.bookreports.info/the-cid-summary/.
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