The term "revenge tragedy" refers to a genre developed in England in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, that is the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries AD. Medea and Phaedra are works from classical antiquity, some two millennia before the development of the revenge tragedy and thus are not written in that genre.
The two plays, Medea and Phaedra, were Latin adaptations by Seneca of two Greek tragedies originally written by Euripides, Hippolytus and Medea. Both of the Latin plays are widely acknowledged to have influenced the development of English revenge tragedy, especially with regard to revenge themes and melodramatic plots. A common feature is that the plots focus on someone who has been wronged or considered themselves wronged obtaining some form of revenge.
Unlike the majority of English revenge tragedies, in both Latin plays, the wronged avengers are female, with Phaedra taking revenge on Hippolytus for turning down her sexual advances and Medea taking revenge on Jason and his new bride...
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