Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Spanish Tragedy: Introduction
The Spanish Tragedy: Plot Summary
The Spanish Tragedy: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Spanish Tragedy: Themes
The Spanish Tragedy: Quotes
The Spanish Tragedy: Characters
The Spanish Tragedy: Symbols
The Spanish Tragedy: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Thomas Kyd
Historical Context of The Spanish Tragedy
Other Books Related to The Spanish Tragedy
- Full Title: The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again
- When Written: Unknown; likely in the mid- to late 1580s.
- Where Written: London, England
- When Published: Unknown; earliest surviving edition was published in 1592.
- Literary Period: The Renaissance
- Genre: Tragedy
- Setting: Spain and Portugal
- Climax: Hieronimo’s play-within-a-play, in which he and Bel-Imperia exact their revenge on Lorenzo and Balthazar for the murder of Horatio.
- Antagonist: Lorenzo
Extra Credit for The Spanish Tragedy
Famous classmates. Kyd attended the Merchant Taylors’ School in the late 1560s with Edmund Spenser, who later became the famous English poet best known for his epic poem The Faerie Queene, first published in 1590.
Return to the classics. Kyd’s plays are modeled after classical tragedies, especially those by Seneca, a Roman dramatist from the first century AD. Kyd was the first to successfully bring modern adaptations of classical works to the Elizabethan stage, and his original works, such as The Spanish Tragedy, are infused with this classical influence.