chapter  2
Senecan Beginnings: Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet
Pages 22

The action and interest of the Kydian revenge play are sustained by the unsuccessful attempts of the hero to avenge some ghastly crime committed by a diabolical villain. The revenge finally comes as the result of a clever stratagem at the end of the play, but until it does the avenger berates himself for his failure to accomplish his purpose; he goes temporarily mad; a ghost urges him on. His self-abuse and his madness serve only to delay his revenge and heighten the suspense. He has formidable obstacles. He must convince himself of the villain's guilt, and he usually requires an inordinate amount of proof. The villain is wily and strong, and he intrigues against the avenger as fully as he is intrigued against. The final revenge is of a particularly bloody sort, and it usually comes after the avenger has pretended a reconciliation with the villain in order to win his confidence.