The Spanish Tragedy

The Spanish Tragedy Infographics

“The less I speak, the more I meditate.”


About The Author

Thomas Kyd (6 November 1558 – 15 August 1594) was an English dramatist and a famous English playwright. He was one of the most important figures in the development of drama, plays and middle and final climaxes. He revealed a sense of the tragic situation in his novel “The Spanish Tragedy”. In 1593 he got arrested and tortured because he was the suspect of treasonable activity. He contributed a lot to Elizabethan drama.


About The Novel

At the beginning of the story, the ghost of Spanish courtier Dan Andrea tells his story. After Andrea died in the battle against Portugal, he became a ghost and tried to find a way to send back on Earth. A character named Revenge, his guide, tells him that he has been sent back to witness an incident related to his lover. The story contains very serious and tragic incidents. 

Genre:  Tragedy

Tone: Ironic, Serious, and Tragic

Type: Play

Year of Publication: 1592


Main Characters

Hieronimo: The protagonist of the story

Bel-Imperia: The main female character

Lorenzo: One of Horatio’s murderers

Balthazar: The prince of Portugal

Horatio: Son of Hieronimo

Ghost of Andrea: First character in the play

Revenge: Andrea’s companion

Isabella: Suffering wife of Hieronimo


  • Death wish- There are nine deaths in the novel, three of them are suicide
  • Revenge- Most of the characters act out because of the feeling of revenge
  • Betrayal- Betrayal is the most important emotion in play. Some of them betray with a strong reason, but some characters don’t have a particular reason
  • Justice/Injustice-The whole play revolves around the questions of justice and injustice

Some Interesting Facts about the Novel

  • The book is written to show  Spain as an evil empire that was the archrival of England
  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet has many themes like The Spanish Tragedy, which makes scholars believe that the story inspires Shakespeare
  • Because of some copyright dispute, only one copy of the first edition has survived
  • The exact year of the writing of The Spanish Tragedy is still unknown.
  • T.S. Eliot mentioned Spanish Tragedy in his most famous poem