What are the characteristics of Andrea in The Spanish Tragedy?

In The Spanish Tragedy, Andrea is a ghost and is primarily concerned with revenge, though he is not so obsessive on this point as similar characters in other revenge tragedies, such as King Hamlet. Andrea was a gallant courtier, interested in court intrigues and love affairs, and he retains these characteristics as a ghost.

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The most important characteristic of Andrea in The Spanish Tragedy is that he is a ghost. However, he tells the audience enough about himself to give a fairly clear impression of what he was like as a living man, and death has not altogether changed his perspective and concerns. He negotiates the pitfalls of the underworld with the same finesse as those he experienced when alive at the Spanish Court. Unlike Shakespeare's ghost of King Hamlet, on whom his influence is clear, Andrea is not entirely obsessed with personal revenge, and is accompanied by an allegorical figure of Revenge to take care of this aspect of the plot. However, at the end of the play, Andrea relishes the death of his enemies, and the eternal punishments they will have to endure.

Andrea appears to have been a fairly typical courtier, interested in love affairs, intrigues, and gaining preferment at court. He begins by saying that, although he was of noble birth, he was rising far higher in the Spanish court than his family position would have warranted. Although it was often seen as a matter of form for courtiers to have affairs, particularly with ladies of a higher station, Andrea really seems to have loved Bel-imperia. The other characters speak of Andrea as a brave man and a gallant lover.

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