The Spanish Tragedy Characters

Thomas Kyd

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Revenge, the master of ceremonies, forming a chorus with the Ghost of Andrea.

The Ghost of Andrea

The Ghost of Andrea (ahn-DRAY-ah), Bel-Imperia’s slain beloved. He complains bitterly at the delay of the revenge of his death. He still loves Bel-Imperia and his friend Horatio, who succeeds him as her lover. At the end, he is satisfied with the vengeance accomplished.


Hieronimo (ee-ehr-OHN-ee-moh), the marshal of Spain and father of Don Horatio. A proud and devoted father, he pleads for his son’s rights in the capture and ransom of Don Balthazar. He is driven almost to madness by the murder of his son (in the later additions to the play, he suffers actual insanity). To avert suspicion from his planned revenge, he feigns madness, thus foreshadowing Hamlet. Despairing of justice for himself, he still acts as a just judge. He is gifted as a dramatic writer and actor, furnishing a pageant for the triumph at the beginning of the play and executing his plan for revenge in a play written and acted by himself with Bel-Imperia and the murderers of his son as supporting actors.


Bel-Imperia (behl eem-PEHR-ee-ah), the daughter of Don Cyprian and sister of Lorenzo. She is a somewhat enigmatic character, devoted to the memory of Andrea and apparently capable of love, even passion, for Horatio, but cold-bloodedly using her love to further her revenge. She scorns her suitor Balthazar, and after the murder of Horatio, she joins forces with Hieronimo and acts a bloody part in his play within the play.


Horatio (hoh-RAY-shee-oh), the best friend of the slain Andrea. Courageous and noble, he has captured the slayer of his friend. He loves Bel-Imperia, and because of this love he is trapped and murdered.


Lorenzo (loh-REHN-zoh), Don Cyprian’s Machiavellian son. A cold-blooded, ambitious, and treacherous man, he tries to promote a marriage between his sister and the Portuguese prince. Finding that Horatio is in the way of this match, he engineers his murder;...

(The entire section is 942 words.)

The Spanish Tragedy Characters

Alexandro is a noble in the Portuguese court. He is falsely accused by Villuppo of accidentally causing the death of...

(The entire section is 1128 words.)