The Revenger’s Tragedy

Spurio is the Duke’s bastard son, borne of an illicit affair. He despises his father for his illegitimate status, and this hatred infects the way he sees everyone else at court too. He has an affair with his stepmother, the Duchess, as part of an overall effort to get revenge on his father. He is killed by a lord in response to his own murder of Ambitioso. In Italian his name has derived implications of being a bastard and counterfeit.

Spurio Quotes in The Revenger’s Tragedy

The The Revenger’s Tragedy quotes below are all either spoken by Spurio or refer to Spurio . 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 1 Quotes

Duke—royal lecher! Go, grey-haired adultery;
And thou his son, as impious steeped as he;
And thou his bastard true-begot in evil;
And thou his duchess that will do with devil;
Four ex’lent characters.

Related Characters: Vindice (speaker), The Duke, Lussurioso, The Duchess, Spurio
Page Number: 1-5
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 1, Scene 2  Quotes

Duchess, it is your youngest son, we’re sorry,
His violent act has e'en drawn blood of honour
And stained our honours,
Thrown ink upon the forehead of our state
Which envious spirits will dip their pens into
After our death, and blot us in our tombs."

Related Characters: The Duke (speaker), The Duchess, Spurio , Junior Brother, Antonio
Page Number: 1-6
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

DUCHESS: Who would not be revenged of such a father,
E'en in the worst way? I would thank that sin
That could most injury him, and be in league with it.
Oh what a grief 'tis that a man should live
But once i'th’ world, and then to live a bastard,
The curse o' the womb, the thief of Nature,
Begot against the seventh commandment
Half damned in the conception by the justice
Of that unbribed everlasting law.

SPURIO: O, I’d a hot-backed devil to my father.

Related Characters: The Duchess (speaker), Spurio (speaker), The Duke, Junior Brother
Page Number: 154-163
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 2, Scene 3 Quotes

O, take me not in sleep; I have great sins.
I must have days—
Nay, months, dear son, with penitential heaves,
To lift 'em out and not to die unclear;
O, thou wilt kill me both in heaven and here.

Related Characters: The Duke (speaker), Lussurioso, The Duchess, Spurio
Page Number: 8-13
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Act 4, Scene 2 Quotes

Has not heaven an ear? Is all the lightning wasted?

Related Characters: Vindice (speaker), Lussurioso, The Duchess, Spurio , Gratiana, Castiza
Related Symbols: Natural Phenomena
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Spurio Character Timeline in The Revenger’s Tragedy

The timeline below shows where the character Spurio 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
Death Theme Icon
...as the Duke, the Duchess, Lussurioso (the Duke’s eldest son by an earlier marriage), and Spurio (the Duke’s bastard son) go by. Vindice expresses fierce hatred for all of them. (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2 
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
The Duke, Lussurioso, the Duchess, Spurio, and Ambitioso and Supervacuo, the Duchess’s other two sons, enter. Junior Brother is brought in... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...Ambitioso also asks the Duke to “be soft and mild.” In an aside to audience, Spurio makes it clear that he hopes Junior Brother is sentenced to death. (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
...her own back on him by “cuckolding” him—that is, having an affair. At this moment, Spurio re-enters the action. The Duchess expresses her attraction to Spurio, which so far has not... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Spurio greets the Duchess, who makes it obvious that she wants a kiss on her “lip”... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Spurio becomes increasingly angry toward the Duke for his bastardy, and assents to have an illicit... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Hippolito comes back with news—he has heard about the affair between Spurio and the Duchess. Spurio enters with his servants; Vindice and Hippolito hide in order to... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Spurio and his servants exit. Vindice relishes the thought of the Duke being made a “cuckold.”... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Death Theme Icon
...in disguise) leads Lussurioso to the Duchess’s chamber. Lussurioso draws his sword, hoping to kill Spurio, but discovers that the Duchess is in bed with the Duke instead. The Duke frantically... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Spurio enters with his servants. Lussurioso tries to tell the Duke about the Duchess’s affair with... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
...court,” at which point Vindice will kill the Duke and make him bear witness to Spurio and the Duchess’s affair. (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...will kill the Duke when he kisses her. The dying Duke will then die witnessing Spurio and the Duchess together—Vindice has arranged the Duke’s sexual liaison to take place at the... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...dies he will become a “renowned, high and mighty cuckold” by witnessing his bastard son, Spurio, and the Duchess together. The Duke pleads with them not to force him to see... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Spurio and the Duchess enter, kissing. The Duchess says, “there’s no pleasure sweet but it is... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Lust Theme Icon
...the Duke and the Duchess in bed, thinking he would find the “incestuous sweets” of Spurio and the Duchess instead. (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
The Duchess and Spurio enter, arm in arm and behaving “lasciviously.” Supervacuo runs after them with his sword, but... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...Duke’s death gets around, more nobles, guards, and court attendees enter, along with Ambitioso, Supervacuo, Spurio, and the Duchess. Ambitioso wonders “over what roof hangs this prodigious comet / In deadly... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Vindice and Hippolito excitedly anticipate the final stage of their revenge, before leaving. Spurio, too, exits expressing his secret desire to kill Lussurioso. Supervacuo and Ambitioso briefly discuss a... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
In an aside, Lussurioso states that he has banished the Duchess, and plans to kill Spurio, Supervacuo, and Ambitioso. Lussurioso looks to the star, thinking it to be a bad omen—though... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
As Lussurioso lies groaning on the floor, Ambitioso, Supervacuo, Spurio, and a “Fourth Man” enter, also dressed in masque costumes. They notice that all of... (full context)