The Revenger’s Tragedy

Supervacuo Character Analysis

Supervacuo is the Duchess’s second oldest son, predating her relationship with the Duke. He is hot-headed and hungry for power, spending most of the time plotting a murderous route to the top of the court with his brother Ambitioso. It doesn’t work out well—upon declaring himself leader after the Duke and Lussurioso’s respective deaths, Supervacuo he is immediately killed by Ambitioso. His name implies that he is a superfluous and vacuous character devoid of worth.
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Supervacuo Character Timeline in The Revenger’s Tragedy

The timeline below shows where the character Supervacuo appears in The Revenger’s Tragedy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
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 to stand trial for... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Death Theme Icon
...realizes that Lussurioso is his assailant; the Duke’s guards seize Lussurioso. Some noblemen, Ambitioso, and Supervacuo enter. The Duke and the Duchess express their surprise that Lussurioso had come to assassinate... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
...is silenced and taken to prison. On his way out, Lussurioso pleads with Ambitioso and Supervacuo to secure his freedom, which they pretend to commit to. (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Ambitioso and Supervacuo speak to the Duke. Though their intention on the surface is to bring about Lussurioso’s... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
With Ambitioso and Supervacuo gone, the Duke tells his noblemen that he will pardon Lussurioso. Left alone on stage,... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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Ambitioso and Supervacuo discuss taking the Duke’s order for death directly to the prison guards (rather than the... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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Ambitioso and Supervacuo meet with the prison officers and present the order for the execution of “the Duke’s... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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...He asks the prison keeper whether there is any news from his brothers, Ambitioso and Supervacuo. The keeper hands him a letter, which Junior Brother dismisses as mere “paper comforts.” The... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Lust Theme Icon
Women and Misogyny Theme Icon
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...get him released. The officers say they are just following orders, and that Ambitioso and Supervacuo had seemed genuinely sad to deliver the Duke’s decision. Junior Brother’s says his last words:... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Ambitioso and Supervacuo enter, bragging of the way they orchestrated Lussurioso’s execution. They plot to bring about Junior... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
The officer informs Ambitioso and Supervacuo that he has brought them the “bleeding head,” which they assume to be Lussurioso’s. They... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Lussurioso suddenly appears on stage, much to Ambitioso and Supervacuo’s surprise. They pretend to have aided his release by convincing the Duke to be gentle... (full context)
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Death Theme Icon
Ambitioso and Supervacuo ask the officer to let them see the head. It dawns on them that they... (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 Ambitioso stops him. The Duchess and Spurio exit,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...the 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... (full context)
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
...of their revenge, before leaving. Spurio, too, exits expressing his secret desire to kill Lussurioso. Supervacuo and Ambitioso briefly discuss a plan to kill Spurio, intending to use the costumes worn... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Revenge and Justice Theme Icon
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...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 at... (full context)
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As Lussurioso lies groaning on the floor, Ambitioso, Supervacuo, Spurio, and a “Fourth Man” enter, also dressed in masque costumes. They notice that all... (full context)