Abstract

This paper makes a case for the relevance of Walter Benjamin’s concept of baroque allegory to The Revenger’s Tragedy. I argue that the effigy, which appears in a number of guises in The Revenger’s Tragedy, warrants inclusion among the constellation of key allegorical objects that distinguish the genre of Trauerspiel and its English counterparts, chiefly revenge drama. By tracing the effigeal semiotics of The Revenger’s Tragedy, this paper demonstrates that the key images (corpse, skull, puppet, and ruin) from Benjamin’s corporeal lexicon of baroque allegory are also relevant to early Stuart revenge tragedy. The Benjaminian view of baroque mourning as a loyalty to the world of things and as a deep investment in ruins and evacuated objects helps to explain Vindice’s otherwise baffling acts of irreverence and betrayal to the remains of his beloved.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 403-421
Launched on MUSE
2015-05-27
Open Access
No
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