As the Elizabethan era gave way to the reign of James I, England grappled with corruption within the royal court and widespread religious anxiety. Dramatists responded with morally complex plays of dark wit and violent spectacle, exploring the nature of death, the abuse of power, and vigilante justice. This anthology presents five crucial tragedies of the era collected together for the first time, including Shakespeare's 1603 version of Hamletand Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, a ferocious satire that reflects the mounting disillusionment of the age.
The introduction by Shakespeare scholar Emma Smith explores the political and religious climate behind the plays, as well as their dramatic conventions.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.