In this paper, I argue that throughout Antonio's Revenge Marston establishes a clear relationship between the appearances of ghostly characters and glaring shifts in his play’s tonal register. Specifically, ghosts – primarily the recurring figure of Andrugio – appear to both signpost and facilitate a gloriously self-aware metatheatrical undercurrent designed to entertain and emotionally unsettle the audience in equal measure.
Few plays explore the rich dramatic potential of living death as explicitly as Thomas Middleton’s The Lady's Tragedy (or, The Second Maiden’s Tragedy, as the play is sometimes known), a tragedy that in the first three acts alone presents suicide, grave-robbing, defiled corpses, and ghosts. Middleton did *not* do these things by halves.
Sometimes a play can be so callous, so poorly-judged, so utterly tone-deaf that one isn't sure whether to laugh or cry. On this occasion, however, my mind is rather made up.
A summary of my PhD thesis: featuring ghosts, gore, and a spooky review of Michael Boyd's 2011 "Macbeth"...