REVENGE IN SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES. Duane’s question “whether you could find some level of revenge in just about all the plays, short of the silliest comedies” provokes a second look at the comedies. When he points out that Oberon’s revenge on Tatania is central to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I am quickly convinced. Malvolio threatens mass revenge at the end of Twelfth Night after he has been abused by those he has previously disdained. In Much Ado, Don John is readily seen as motivated by revenge rather than simple malice. At the end of Measure for Measure, the Duke takes revenge on Lucio for Lucio’s insults laid on the Duke when he is in disguise. In Merry Wives, the merry wives take comic revenges on Falstaff. I can see The Taming of the Shrew as Kate’s revenge on her sister Bianca.

Other great writers have less to say about revenge. I can’t think of many examples in Chekhov or Proust.

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