Shakespeare Themes: Richard II Title Drama

In Shakespeare’s “Richard II,” on my mind due to the recent airing of “The Hollow Crown”‘s adaptation of the play, there are many moments where one character will critique another’s use of names or titles. “What did you just call me” seems to be a sentiment common to these moments, and there’s a very plot-relevant reason why, as I explore in this episode of “Shakespeare Themes”.

Beyond the Bard: The Spanish Tragedy

I go beyond the bard to bring you a Shakespeare-era tragedy, “The Spanish Tragedy” by Thomas Kyd. This play heavily influenced “Titus Andronicus” and “Hamlet”, and is one heavy hitting revenge drama of epic proportions.

Major Character List, in case you want a cheat-sheet:
Hieronimo: Father to Horatio, Lord Marshal of Spain and protagonist
Lorenzo: Brother to Bel-imperia, nephew to the king of Spain and villain
Bel-imperia: Sister to Lorenzo, former lover of the deceased Andrea and now lover of Horatio, niece to the king of Spain, and our heroine

Horatio: Hieronimo’s son, murdered by Lorenzo, lover to Bel-imperia and friend to Andrea
Balthazar: Prince of Portugal, living in Spain since his capture in the war. Loves Bel-imperia, it is unrequited. Also a villain
Andrea: Died in the war, back to watch the mayhem. Friend of Horatio and former lover of Bel-imperia.

Pictures shown are of the Hyperion Shakespeare Company production of “The Spanish Tragedy” from 2010, which I had the pleasure of directing.
**Pictures by Annie McGrath, producer on the show.
For the rest of the show info: http://www.hyperionshakespeare.org/the-spanish-tragedy.html

Text of the play: http://www.elizabethanauthors.org/span1.htm
Youtube with Derek Jacobi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDuvqnsKXl8