STUFF THAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE PLAY
Nine years ago, the Duke murdered Gloriana, Vindice’s betrothed, because she would not submit to his lecherous desires. Recently, Vindice’s father died, caused by the Duke’s ill treatment of him. Also recently, the Duchess’s youngest son raped Antonio’s wife.
STUFF THAT HAPPENS IN THE PLAY
- Vindice introduces the royal family: the Duke, his son Lussurioso, his bastard Spurio, and his second wife, the Duchess. The Duchess has three sons from a prior marriage, Ambitioso, Supervacuo, and Junior.
- Vindice promises Gloriana (whose skull he carries around) that he will “give Revenge her due.”
- After Junior’s trial for rape, the Duchess begins an affair with her stepson Spurio.
- Disguised as Lussurioso’s new servant (Piato), Vindice infiltrates the royal family in order to enact his revenge.
- Lussurioso desires Castiza, Vindice’s sister, and sends Vindice to procure her. Vindice finds his mother all too willing to pander her daughter. Castiza, however, remains virtuous.
- Manipulated by Vindice, Lussurioso breaks into the Duke’s bedchamber expecting to find the Duchess with Spurio. Instead he finds the Duke with the Duchess and is jailed for the attempted murder of his father and stepmother.
- Despising their elder stepbrother, Ambitioso and Supervacuo forge an order of execution for Lussurioso. However, the Duke forgives and frees Lussurioso. As the only brother remaining in jail, Junior is executed.
- The Duke asks Vindice to find him a chaste woman to ravish.
- The dance of revenge ensues.