The Broken Heart-Kaitlyn Reichert


The Broken Heart by John Ford was written between 1625 and 1633. The Broken Heart is set in ancient Greece and revolves around two noble Spartan families. The families had a feud against each other until their children got engaged. Penthea and Orglius we engaged to be married, but before there could be a wedding Penthea’s father, Tharsus, died. The death of her father made way for Penthea’s twin brother, Ithocles, to trick her in to a more socially beneficial marriage with Bassanes. Bassanes is not a very good husband, he is violent and jealous.

Ithocles goes to fight in a war against Messene. Orglius asks his father if he can leave to go to Athens to recover from losing Penthea, his father agrees. Orglius doesn’t actually go to Athens, he stays in Sparta in a disguise. While he is disguised he hears his sister, Euphrania, and one of Ithocles friends, Prophilus, speaking of how they love each other. The two discover that the disguise is Orglius and they ask him to pass love letters between them. Meanwhile Ithocles returns to Sparta and is now a war hero, he is crowned with a wreath made by Calantha, which is when he falls in love with her.

Orglius reveals himself to Penthea and tells her how much he loves her, but she refuses to take him back no matter what might happen to Bassanes. She feels tainted and spoiled by her marriage and she doesn’t want to hurt Orglius. Ithocles, after forcing Penthea into a horrible marriage, asks her to make him look good to Calantha. She agrees to help him, but she also reminds him he feels for Calantha what she felt for Orglius, which is what he has deprived her of. It is now that Bassanes, crazy and jealous, rushes in accusing the two of incest. This is when Penthea is taken form him until he can learn to control his jealousy and crazy behavior.

I can see Orglius wanting revenge for his wife being taken away from him. And since this a revenge tragedy I’m sure in the next two acts we can expect the demise of some characters.

The Maid’s Tragedy- Lauren Sink


            The Maid’s Tragedy, written by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher was first published during the Jacobean period, in 1619. The play appears to have a bit of a hazy plot which takes place at court and revolves around a secret love affair between the King and Evadne, the sister of a great general, Melantius who has just arrived back from his duties.

Melantius is surprised when he is told that Evadne is to marry one of his friends, Amintor because he was betrothed to the noblewoman, Aspatia. Apparently, the King orchestrated the whole thing claiming that he was honoring the general by marrying off his sister to a nobleman. The reader soon finds out that the King is sleeping with Evadne, so he acts quickly by covering up a potential pregnancy with her marriage to Amintor.

After their wedding, Evadne and Amintor go to their bedroom, where she refuses to sleep with her new husband. Soon thereafter however, Evadne shares with him that the King made her his mistress and arranged their marriage to cover it all up, Amintor feels badly about the whole situation and agrees to act as a married couple would. The next morning the couple keeps up the appearance when talking to various men of the court where both Evadne and her brother, Melantius notice Amintor is acting strangely. The King begins asking Amintor and Evadne questions and as they answer the King appears to grow jealous of this new partnership which he arranged. When alone with the pair, the King tells Amintor that he is to stay away from Evadne and allow her to be with the King whenever he so pleases.

Amintor reveals all that has transpired as of late to his friend and now brother in law, Melantius. Melanius tells his friend to have patience and not to do anything rash, meanwhile as soon as Melantius is left alone he begins hatching a revenge plot against the King, and reveals it to Calianax. I am very interested to see what is going to happen in the final acts of the play and whether or not Melantius will be successful in his plot against the King, and who else will perish.

Antonio’s Revenge – Caterina Russo


Antonio’s Revenge by John Marston was written in between the years 1599-1600 as a late Elizabethan play.  In the prologue of the play, it is revealed that Antonio’s Revenge is actually the sequel to another one of Marston’s plays called Antonio and Mellida.  If there are to be any confusions as to where the play starts, that is because it is picking up where the first play ended.

For some background information as to where the characters in this current play stand, Antonio and Mellida was about Piero’s attempt to disrupt the marriage and love of his daughter and Antonio’s, who is the son of his rival the Duke of Genoa, Andrugio.  During one point in the plot, Antonio is shipwrecked and he takes this opportunity to disguise himself as an Amazon and goes to Venice to convince Mellida to go with him.  Unfortunately, when the two lovers become separated, Mellida is taken back to Venice in which her father continues to prevent her from being with Antonio.  Andrugio decides to help his son and Mellida, and to bring peace between Genoa and Venice, by going to the Venetian court and tells Piero that Antonio has been murdered.  Andrugio carries his son’s coffin in to the court and Piero is moved by his enemy’s actions, embraces Andrugio, and confesses he wishes Antonio were still alive in order to marry his daughter.  As this was a ploy the whole time, Antonio emerges from the coffin that his death was truly fake.  By bringing peace between the two cities, Antonio and Mellida are able to finally marry one another.

In the beginning of the play, we are brought to Piero’s bloody acts, which are to have occurred between Antonio and Mellida‘s ending and the start of Antonio’s Revenge.  Piero, Mellida’s father, is still not fond of the idea of his daughter getting married to Antonio.  The information that we need on the characters has already been established in Antonio and Mellida.  

As the play progresses, we can see Antonio’s Revenge has some similarities to that of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  The appearance of Andrugio’s ghost to Antonio is a very obvious similarity of the two; he tells Antonio how he was murdered, how his wife has fallen in love with the murderer, who he says is Piero, and asks his son to get revenge for what has happened.

It will be interesting to see how Antonio will go along with the plan in getting revenge on his father’s murder or if he will be as delayed in the process as Hamlet was, or if he’ll maybe face the same fate.

The Changeling- Meghan Kingsley


The first three acts of The Changeling, written by Thomas Middleton and William rowley, starts our slow and more detailed than the other revenge tragedies read this semester, such as Hamlet, or The Revenger’s Tragedy. The first act is mainly just getting to know the characters and their intertwined lives.  Here you find out about Beatrice and all of her suitors.  She is betrothed to Alonzo but falls in love with Alsemero the second she meets him.  Alsemero is clearly in love with Beatrice, but understands she is betrothed to Alonso.  By the second act, Alsemero decides to fight for Beatrice’s love the noble way- a duel.  Unknowingly to Alsemero, Beatrice plans on getting rid of Alono herself-well with the help of De Flores, her father’s servant.  He secretly loves her, but she loathes him. She decides to use his feelings for her to her advantage.  She plays on his emotions and uses them to convince him to kill Alonso for her.  He, filled with idea of having her to himself, is more than eager to murder for her.

Alongside this plot of Beatrice and her suitors, there is a second plot.  This follows Alibius, a doctor of the madhouse and Antonio, who is described as “the Changeling.” Alibius talks to Lollio about his younger wife who he wants to keep hidden away from all others.

The difference between this revenge tragedy and some of the others, is that the reader, from the beginning, is totally enveloped in the lives of the characters.  Revenge is not immediately introduced or evident.  Although murder and revenge is expected, the play is enjoyable to read and the reader is easily interested to see which direction the tragedy goes.  It also differs in showing a female character that has more control and power than a usual depicted female.  Beatrice is not the innocent and honorable woman figure as most tragedies try to show.

In the upcoming acts, it will be interesting to see if the two plots intertwine or if the title has a meaning for both plots.

The Malcontent – Melissa Walsh


The play, “The Malcontent” by John Marston is about Giovanni Altofronto being disguised as Malevole and planning his revenge against the duke, Pietro. Women are a main part of the play as there are many women characters with important roles. However, many male characters do not consider women to be good, like in many Renaissance plays.

Mendoza has a moment where he talks about what he thinks about women. He says that: “Their words are feigned, their eyes forged, their sights / dissembled, their looks counterfeit, their hair false, their / given hopes deceitful, their very breath artificial” (Act I, Scene VI, l. 90-2). Mendoza believes that there is nothing real about women; their appearances are all fake and cannot be trusted. He thinks that they want to trick people and also never tell the truth, like their appearances.

Aurelia, the wife of the duke, decides to have an affair with Ferneze. She tells Ferneze: “I will be sick instantly and take physic; / therefore, in depth of night visit -“ (Act I, Scene VI, l. 50-1) This portrays her as betraying her husband and for having desires outside of her marriage. She is an example that women can be unfaithful, which depicts women in a negative light.

After Aurelia is discovered to be cheating by her husband, she talks to Mendoza. She tells Mendoza: “Instantly, before he casts a plot, / Or further blaze my honour’s much-known blot, / Let’s murder him” (Act II, Scene V, l. 75-7). If Aurelia were truly sorry for her unfaithfulness, she would kill herself like the women in “The Revenger’s Tragedy” and “A Woman Killed With Kindness.” Instead, she wants to kill her husband so that she will still live. This depicts her as a terrible woman because she again is betraying her husband.

When Malevole talks to Bilioso before he leaves to be ambassador in Florence, Malevole warns him about leaving his wife at home. Malevole suggests that: “With potent example, impudent custom, / Enticed by that great bawd, Opportunity; Thus being prepared, clap to her easy ear” (Act III, Scene III, l. 44-6). Malevole describes that if Bilioso leaves his wife at home, his wife will most likely cheat on him. This again is another portrayal of women as unfaithful people.

When Pietro is being entertained, he makes a suggestion to the Page. He asks: “Sing of the nature of women, and then the song shall be / surely full of variety…” (Act III, Scene IV, l. 30-1). Pietro is suggesting that women are a source of entertainment for men. Women are seen as an object, like in other Renaissance plays.

The portrayal of women in Renaissance plays is usually never positive, unless the woman is a virtuous one. As the play continues, we will see if Aurelia’s plot comes to fruition.

The Jew of Malta by Lorenny Perez-Torrez


In the first three acts of the play, some might say that Barabas’s fortunes and riches are the most important to him. But I might argue in this play theres a whole other theme then just his revenge for his fortune, it revolves around politics and religion so far. In Act 1 Scene two the Officer (reads) “First the tribute money of the Turks shall all be levied amongst the Jews, and each of them pay one half of his estate”, Forcing  the Jews to pay to help tribute the Turks on behalf of the government is almost as bad as making them walk into a camp against their own will. I see that as unfair and abusive that the government would only target the Jews to pay such a heavy penalty. Also, leading to deny paying the fines ” ..shall straight become a Christian.’Forcing a religion onto anyone is not how things should be. Forcing anyone to do something they don’t like, like converting into a religion you don’t believe in is such recipe for conflict.  Barabas reaction to such demands from the government not only does he say ‘ No, governor, I will be no convertite’, I believe that standing for his religious freedom against the government is what sets his revenge in motion. After his estate is taken away and his fortune he saids to Ferneze ” Well then, my lord, say are you satisfied? You have all my goods, my money, and my wealth, my ships, my store, and all that I enjoyed; …… Unless your unrelenting flinty hearts suppress all pity in your stoney breasts, And now shall move you to bereave my life. They’ve taken everything from him, his last words to Ferneze are just the last words from a man who’s world has been flipped agonized with pain. That scene is the key moment I  believe makes him into a man filled with rage who’s looking out for revenge. Can you really blame him for the things his does in the play? He turns into something that his own religion doesn’t abide with and uses his daughter to retrieve what belongs to him. He involves his daughter, Abigall, to pretend to be a nun so she can gain access into their estate. He does this so that she can retrieve his hidden gold and jewels at night. All of Barabas actions towards revenge against Ferneze is just a domino affect that unfortunately takes him and his daughter along with everyone else into a path that is neither about religion or goods  any more but the sole fact of just blinded filled rage of greed and revenge.

The Revenge of the Origami Unicorn- Rebecca Singh


The Revenge of the Origami Unicorns introduces and explains the different concepts of transmedia storytelling. According to Henry Jenkins, from Confessions of an Aca-fan, we are all trying to figure out commercial entertainment and the era of digital entertainment. Transmedia storytelling is the process of fiction essentially becoming fan fiction as it is spread throughout today’s culture and media to create and give an even bigger entertainment experience. As discussed in class, a lot of television shows, movies, and books rely on mythology because is assumed that viewers and readers know the backstory. For example, comic books, like DC Comics and Marvel, and even down to fairytales. Transmedia storytelling is experiencing the story through an interactive perspective, like game playing or amusement parks, without knowing the backstory.

Six Flags is an amusement park that has rides based DC Comics, like Batman The Ride, Superman: Ultimate Fight, and The Green Lantern, just to name a few. This is a perfect example of how transmedia storytelling was targeting a specific audience, but by expanding to an amusement park it attracts a larger crowd who are a fan of both the comics and rollercoasters. The one thing that stood out the most to me is that collaborating with different big brand companies are definitely key to expanding on stories that seem forgotten. One of the concepts, Continuity vs. Multiplicity, explains how DC Comics have expanded immensely. I enjoyed this part of the article the most because it explained how Marvel, in particular, has used The Ultimate Spider-man Franchise and made it into smaller franchises, like Spider-man India. Since my favorite superhero is Spiderman, it was interesting to see the difference between India’s Spider-man and the original Americanized comic.

This is another way how transmedia storytelling has specifically made Spiderman fan fiction based instead of Marvel as a whole. This is an example of transmedia branding because it is taking a show/movie and using it as a franchise. Marvel and DC Comics has teamed up with the Warner Bros. to ensure the qualities of their comics and stories so it reaches industry standards and audience satisfaction. However, Marvel won’t pay Sony for the rights of Spiderman to put him in any of The Avengers movies, hence why Spiderman seems to have its own fan base. Now, by using the technique of turning these comics into television shows and games, fan bases have also grown immensely. For example, the CW, is a television network that has brought comics that seemed forgotten to life, like Arrow and The Flash. Not only do these two comics have their own show, but also have collaborated together through technology by brainstorming these two shows into crossovers.

Not only do transmedia storytelling benefit comic books, but have a great influence on other books as well. Comic books have just been around since the beginning of time, as opposed to incredible sagas like Harry Potter. Harry Potter is another level of transmedia story telling because Universal Studios has blessed all of its fans with their very own Harry Potter World in both the UK and the US.