Publication details

"Their hour will be his hour" : Margaret Atwood's Hag-Seed and the Conventions of Renaissance Revenge Plays


KRAJNÍK Filip WEISS Michaela

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Hradec Králové Journal of Anglophone Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Domovská stránka periodika.
Keywords Margaret Atwood; Hag-Seed; William Shakespeare; The Tempest; revenge tragedy; early-modern English theatre
Description Although an openly radical re-imagination of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed (2016) is in many ways faithful to the Renaissance roots of its model. Streamlining the convoluted plot of the original and narrating it chiefly from the perspective of the story’s protagonist, Felix Phillips (the “Prospero” of the novel), Atwood’s text is centred on the motifs of (in)justice and personal revenge. This article argues that to emphasise her interpretation of the Shakespeare play, Atwood employs a number of conventional elements of Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge plays – such as the metatheatrical techniques, the strong character of the avenger, the presence of the ghost and the avenger’s death – making her novel not only a modernised version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, but also a revival, of a kind, of a whole dramatic genre, whose popularity peaked in the late 16th and early 17th centuries and whose conventions permeate the structure of Hag-Seed’s narrative.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info