Christina Luckyj's Duchess of Malfi: A critical guide (Continuum Renaissance PDF
By Christina Luckyj
John Webster's vintage revenge tragedy The Duchess of Malfi was first played in 1613 and released in 1623. This consultant bargains scholars an creation to its serious and function heritage, together with fresh models on level and monitor. It encompasses a keynote bankruptcy outlining significant parts of present study at the play and 4 new severe essays providing new serious positions that provide divergent views on Webster's religio-political allegiances and the politics and gendering of secrecy within the play. ultimately, a consultant to severe, web-based and production-related assets and an annotated bibliography offer a foundation for extra person examine.
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Extra resources for Duchess of Malfi: A critical guide (Continuum Renaissance Drama)
28 But in most respects Brennan reads the play in markedly different terms. Brown finds in it no definable moral vision. Brennan, by contrast, finds a traditional Christian view of the world, with Webster’s characters facing in death salvation or damnation. Not engaging at any length with the debate over the morality or otherwise of the Duchess’s marriage to Antonio, Brennan stresses the Duchess’s ‘purity and integrity’ and dismisses ‘the evil with which the Duchess is supposed to be possessed’ as ‘a projection of the evil in the minds of her brothers’ (xii).
God is not mocked, the evil doer is caught in the net he has woven for others. And he realizes why [ ... ] Before they die the villains are always forced to recognize the supremacy of that Divine Law, against which they have offended. (33–4) Reading The Duchess of Malfi thus, Cecil finds Act V successful in embodying Webster’s governing theme, the act of sin and its consequences. For in it we see not only Ferdinand and the Cardinal destroyed, but Bosola, ‘the man who has elected, against the promptings of his better self, to be the devil’s agent in the drama’ (39) brought to repentance.
7 Many of his earlier philippics are recycled, but Archer’s fiercest criticism is of the fifth act: With the death of the Duchess, the interest of the play is over; for Antonio is admittedly a shadowy figure as to whose fate we are very indifferent; and though we are willing to see Ferdinand, the Cardinal, and Bosola punished, we could quite well dispense with that gratification. Webster, however, is not the man to leave any of his dramatis personae alive if he can help it. ‘There is scarcely any room on the stage for all the corpses’, Archer adds acerbically, ‘which is perhaps the reason why, in the Phoenix revival, Ferdinand stands on his head to die, and waves his legs in the air’ (131).
Duchess of Malfi: A critical guide (Continuum Renaissance Drama) by Christina Luckyj