The Revenger’s Tragedy


Thomas Middleton

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The Revenger’s Tragedy: Act 4, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

Lussurioso and Hippolito enter. Lussurioso is angry with Hippolito for providing him with Piato (Vindice) the pander, who has proved to be a “knave.” Lussurioso recounts how Piato’s misinformation led him to burst in on the Duke and the Duchess in bed, thinking he would find the “incestuous sweets” of Spurio and the Duchess instead.
Lussurioso is also angry that Piato hasn’t delivered on his promise to procure Castiza for him. “Sweets” contributes to the sense that women are something for men to enjoy at their leisure.
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Vindice (still as Piato) comes in but is sent away immediately by Lussurioso for his misinformation about Spurio and the Duchess. Lussurioso asks Hippolito if he has a brother, and, learning that he does, requests to meet him. Lussurioso implies that he has a task for Hippolito’s brother, much to Hippolito’s secret amusement.
Lussurioso continues to play into the brother’s hands, having not recognized Piato’s true identity. This provides the brothers with further opportunity for revenge.
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Hippolito exits to fetch Vindice. In the meantime, Lussurioso reveals that the proposed task for Vindice is to kill Piato the pander (who is also Vindice). Some noblemen enter, asking whether Lussurioso has seen the Duke recently. Answering that he hasn’t, Lussurioso and the noblemen wonder where the Duke has gone.
The Duke, of course, is already dead. Nobody knows, though, because of the secrecy which the Duke himself imposed on his movements. Vindice can’t kill Piato because that would mean killing himself—so the brothers will have to come up with further deception.
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