The Revenger’s Tragedy

Hippolito Character Analysis

Hippolito is Vindice and Castiza’s brother, the son of Gratiana. His main function is to help facilitate Vindice’s revenge on the Duke (and later Lussurioso). He and his brother are angry with the Duke for the maltreatment of their father (who is dead well before the start of the play) and with Lussurioso for his seedy pursuit of their chaste sister, Castiza. Hippolito is initially in good favor with those at the court, which he uses to his advantage—for example, by providing a disguised Vindice when Lussurioso asks for a pimp. Though Hippolito is successful in his attempts to help his brother seek vengeance, his brother is also the one to bring about Hippolito’s own end: in the final scene of the play, Vindice can’t help bragging to Antonio of their murderous success, and accordingly both brothers are instantly sentenced to death.

Hippolito Quotes in The Revenger’s Tragedy

The The Revenger’s Tragedy quotes below are all either spoken by Hippolito or refer to Hippolito. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bloomsbury edition of The Revenger’s Tragedy published in 2009.
Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

O!
Now let me burst, I've eaten noble poison!
We are made strange fellows, brother, innocent villains:
Wilt not be angry when thou hear'st on't, think’st thou?
I'faith thou shalt. Swear me to foul my sister!
[Unsheathes his sword]
Sword I durst make a promise of him to thee,
Thou shalt dis-heir him, it shall be thine honour;
And yet, now angry froth is down in me,
It would not prove the meanest policy
In this disguise to try the faith of both.

Related Characters: Vindice (speaker), Hippolito, Lussurioso, Gratiana, Castiza
Page Number: 88-99
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, Scene 5 Quotes

VINDICE: Look you brother,
I have not fashioned this only for show
And useless property, no — it shall bear a part
E'en in it own revenge. This very skull,
Whose mistress the duke poisoned with this drug,
The mortal curse of the earth, shall be revenged
In the like strain and kiss his lips to death.

Related Characters: Vindice (speaker), Hippolito, The Duke
Related Symbols: Gloriana’s Skull
Page Number: 98-104
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

GRATIANA: Are you so barbarous, to set iron nipples
Upon the breast that gave you suck?

VINDICE: That breast
Is turned to quarled poison.

GRATIANA: Cut not your days for't: am not I your mother?

VINDICE: Thou dost usurp that title now by fraud,
For in that shell of mother breeds a bawd.

GRATIANA: A bawd! Oh name far loathsomer than hell!

HIPPOLITO: It should be so, knew'st thou thy office well.

Related Characters: Vindice (speaker), Hippolito (speaker), Gratiana (speaker), Lussurioso, Castiza
Page Number: 5-12
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

GRATIANA: Bethink again, thou know'st not what thou say'st.

CASTIZA: No—deny advancement, treasure, the duke's son?

GRATIANA: O see, I spoke those words, and now they poison me.
What will the deed do then?
Advancement? True, as high as shame can pitch.
For treasure? Who e'er knew a harlot rich
Or could build by the purchase of her sin
An hospital to keep their bastards in?
The duke's son! Oh when women are young courtiers,
They are sure to be old beggars;
To know the miseries most harlots taste
Thou'd'st wish thyself unborn, when thou’rt unchaste.

CASTIZA: Oh mother let me twine about your neck
And kiss you till my soul melt on your lips:
I did but this to try you.

GRATIANA: Oh speak truth!

CASTIZA: Indeed I did not;
For no tongue has force to alter me from honest.
If maidens would, men's words could have no power;
A virgin honour is a crystal tower,
Which, being weak, is guarded with good spirits:
Until she basely yields, no ill inherits.

Related Characters: Hippolito (speaker), Gratiana (speaker), Castiza (speaker), Lussurioso
Page Number: 134-154
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

ANTONIO: Bear 'em to speedy execution. […]

VINDICE: May not we set as well as the duke's son?
Thou hast no conscience: are we not revenged?
Is there one enemy left alive amongst those?
When murderers shut deeds close this curse does seal 'em:
If none disclose 'em, they themselves reveal 'em!
This murder might have slept in tongueless brass
But for ourselves, and the world died an ass.
Now I remember too; here was Piato
Brought forth a knavish sentence once:
No doubt, said he, but time
Will make the murderer bring forth himself.
'Tis well he died, he was a witch.—
And now my lord, since we are in for ever:
This work was ours, which else might have been slipped;
And if we list we could have nobles clipped
And go for less than beggars. But we hate
To bleed so cowardly: we have enough—
I'faith we're well: our mother turned, our sister true,
We die after a nest of dukes! Adieu.
Exeunt [Vindice and Hippolito, guarded)

ANTONIO: How subtly was that murder closed! Bear up
Those tragic bodies; 'tis a heavy season.
Pray heaven their blood may wash away all treason.

Related Characters: Vindice (speaker), Antonio (speaker), Hippolito, The Duke, Lussurioso, Gratiana, Castiza
Related Symbols: Natural Phenomena
Page Number: 106-130
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hippolito Character Timeline in The Revenger’s Tragedy

The timeline below shows where the character Hippolito appears in The Revenger’s Tragedy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Vindice’s brother Hippolito enters. Vindice asks whether Hippolito has sensed any opportunity for Vindice to enact his revenge,... (full context)
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
...and Castiza arrive, the brothers’ mother and sister respectively. As they enter, Vindice notes to Hippolito that he would “stake” his “soul for these two creatures,” despite the corruptible nature of... (full context)
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Gratiana asks Hippolito for news from the court. Hippolito informs her that the Duchess’s youngest son (and the... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
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Lust Theme Icon
Vindice and Hippolito enter, with Vindice disguised as “Piato” the pander. Both are impressed with the convincing quality... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Antonio enters with another nobleman and Hippolito. Antonio’s wife has committed suicide by poison after her rape at the hands of Junior... (full context)
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Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Hippolito gives Antonio his heartfelt condolences, which Antonio accepts gratefully. Antonio explains the circumstances of the... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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Lussurioso and Hippolito enter, with the former praising the latter’s judgment in finding him a good pander. Vindice... (full context)
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Lust Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Hippolito comes back with news—he has heard about the affair between Spurio and the Duchess. Spurio... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
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...comes back, requesting Piato’s (Vindice’s fake identity) presence on his trip to Castiza. Vindice and Hippolito toy with the idea of killing Lussurioso immediately, but instead inform him of Spurio and... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
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...assassinate his own father. Sensing it best that they get out of there, Vindice and Hippolito make a swift exit. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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Lust Theme Icon
Vindice, still in disguise, enters with Hippolito, who is carrying a torch. Vindice is clearly excited about something, and Hippolito wants to... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Hippolito is impressed by Vindice’s plan and asks where the woman is. Vindice tells him that... (full context)
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Vindice and Hippolito hear the Duke approaching, and Vindice instructs his brother to hide with the skull. The... (full context)
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Vindice tells Hippolito to back away with the torch and give him the skull. Vindice moves the skull... (full context)
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Vindice gleefully reveals to the Duke the identity of the skull (that is, Gloriana). Hippolito stamps on the Duke as the poison kicks in. Vindice then reveals his true identity... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
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...together. The Duke pleads with them not to force him to see that. Vindice and Hippolito place their daggers on the Duke, telling him he will get stabbed if he makes... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Lust Theme Icon
Lussurioso and Hippolito enter. Lussurioso is angry with Hippolito for providing him with Piato (Vindice) the pander, who... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
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Hippolito exits to fetch Vindice. In the meantime, Lussurioso reveals that the proposed task for Vindice... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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Hippolito and Vindice enter, with the latter no longer in his Piato disguise. To Vindice’s surprise,... (full context)
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Vindice and Hippolito praise Lussurioso’s honorability, as Lussurio explains how he beat Piato up in anger at his... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
...of it meaning “revenger.” Lussurioso says Vindice “shouldst be valiant / And kill thine enemies.” Hippolito returns, saying he spotted the drunken Piato. Lussurioso leaves, telling Vindice on his way out... (full context)
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Death Theme Icon
Knowing Vindice would have to kill himself to kill Piato, Vindice and Hippolito hatch a plan: to dress up the Duke’s body in the Piato disguise, making it... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Vindice and Hippolito enter with daggers in their hands, dragging Gratiana. She is distraught, oblivious to why they... (full context)
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Vindice and Hippolito put away their daggers, satisfied that Gratiana has shown herself to be truly repentant. Gratiana... (full context)
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Vindice and Hippolito leave; Gratiana wonders how she was ever able to entertain the idea of prostituting her... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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Hippolito and Vindice enter, carrying the Duke’s body dressed in Vindice’s “Piato” disguise. They set the... (full context)
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Lussurioso enters, greeting Vindice and Hippolito. He instructs them to kill Piato. They ask for his assurance that he will protect... (full context)
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...corpse, and suddenly realizes that it’s his father, the Duke. Lussurioso buys into Vindice and Hippolito’s plan, thinking that Piato must have killed the Duke and swapped outfits to aid his... (full context)
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Vindice and Hippolito excitedly anticipate the final stage of their revenge, before leaving. Spurio, too, exits expressing his... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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Vindice and Hippolito enter with other lords. Vindice incites them to “blast this villainous dukedom vexed with sin.”... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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Vindice, Hippolito, and their accomplices enter, disguised in costumes for the masque. Suddenly they draw their swords... (full context)
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Vindice and Hippolito re-enter, cunningly calling for help: “Pistols! Treason! Murder! Help! Guard my lord / The Duke!”... (full context)
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Hippolito addresses Antonio, telling that the “hope / Of Italy” now rests in his hands. Antonio... (full context)
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Vindice announces to Antonio that it was he and Hippolito who orchestrated the murder of the Duke, bragging that it was “witty carried.” Antonio orders... (full context)
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...Antonio counters that “you that would murder him would murder me.” Vindice accepts his and Hippolito’s fate, viewing it as their “time to die” now that their enemies are dead. At... (full context)
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Vindice and Hippolito are dragged away by guards, leaving Antonio alone on stage. He expresses his disbelief at... (full context)