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QUORUM Postgraduate Drama Seminar: Kate Graham (Westminster) ‘“You mean some strange revenge”: The Jacobean Intersections of Revenge and the Strange’ – Wednesday 7 February 2018

7th February 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


All events will be held in RR2, Artsone, starting at 6pm.


In Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, we learn that a revenger must be ‘strange-disposed’ or ‘strange-composed’ (1.1.86/96), and in Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher’s The Maid’s Tragedy the wronged Amintor, unable to take revenge, claims ‘[w]hat a strange thing am I’ (2.1.298). In these utterances, the speakers tie their desires for vengeance into their affective state. As both plays progress however, the evocations of strangeness shift, moving from an association with the revenger to an association with the act of revenge in-and-of itself. Thus, the audiences’ attention is drawn to the ‘strange spectacle’ of the Duke’s murder in The Revenger’s Tragedy (5.1.88), and in The Maid’s Tragedy to the way in which the revenge plot is ‘so strangely carried’ (4.2.269).

I am interested here in considering the rhetoric of strangeness as it relates to revenge on the early Stuart stage and in working to unpack the interrelationships between the revenger, the strangeness of their affective experience and the strangeness of the act of revenge itself. Centrally, in tracing the shift in the rhetoric of strangeness from revenger to act, I consider the questions this realignment forces us to ask about the tension between revenge as an embodied or disembodied act.


Kate Graham is Senior Lecturer in English Literature (Theatre) at the University of Westminster, where she is Course Leader for the BA Theatre Studies & English Literature and Theatre Studies & Creative Writing programmes. She is co-director of the Queer London Research Forum, which she runs with Simon Avery. Drawing on the work of the forum, Kate and Simon have published the edited collection Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London (Bloomsbury 2016). She has work on the relationship between objects and gender in The Revenger’s Tragedy: State of Play (Bloomsbury 2017); the queerness of female revenge in The Maid’s Tragedy (Early Theatre journal 2018); and forthcoming work on the relationship between bees, anger and time in early modern drama.

Wednesday 7 February 2018, 6pm

Rehearsal Room 2, Arts One Building (Mile End Campus)

Everyone welcome

Refreshments will be served

Free admission

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7th February 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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