11 June 2008

name play

I rented Revengers Tragedy. This is the kind of thing they should make teenagers read if they want them to be at all interested in 17th Century literature. Granted, the kids will probably still go out and rent the movie if it's available to them; but at least they might find the story interesting.

The story begins as our protagonist Vindici returns home to finally take his revenge on the powerful Duke who poisoned Vindici's bride (and all the other guests) on their wedding day, because she would not give in to his lecherous advances. His first stop home is the catacombs, where he talks to his dead girl's skull, puppets around a bit, and shrieks at passing little old ladies. Beautifully begun ...

Here we have vengeance; lust, chastity, and loss of honour; keeping promises, whatever the cost; the game of ambition and succession; and incest.

The allegorical names put me in mind of Volpone, because almost all of the names are chosen specifically for their characters' primary nature.

Our hero Vindici (sometimes spelled Vendici) hellbent on vengeance.

The Duke's eldest son Lussurioso, primarly driven by his lustful nature. And for whom?

Castiza, Vindici's sister. Chastity is not her middle name--it's her first. And, surprise, she despises Lussurioso.

Vindici and Castiza's mother Gratiana wants to ingratiate herself and her daughter with Lussurioso for his future Dukedom.

The other sons of the Duke:
Spurio - He's a big liar.
Ambitioso should not require an explanation.
Supervacuo - Not just vacant--SUPERvacant.
and Junior - It's also fitting, because he follows after his father's habits.

I do recommend the film, so long as you don't mind 17th Century dialogue in a post-apocalyptic Liverpool setting. Christopher Eccleston, Eddie Izzard, and Derek Jacobi star.

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