Share via Email A sense of moral goodness Gemma Arterton as the Duchess. Tristram Kenton A new theatre is often a challenge. Until weathered and worn by use, it can seem strangely cold and forbidding.
At the beginning she is a widow whose brothers take every precaution to keep from marriage, though later she secretly marries Antonio. Due to the marriage, her brothers arrange to have her strangled. She is described as having a sweet countenance and noble virtue, unlike her brothers.
She is also witty and clever, helping her keep up with her brothers' banter, and has a tenderness and warmth which they lack.
She has three children, two sons and a daughter by Antonio. There is an inconsistency surrounding earlier children by her deceased husband, put down to a careless mistake by Webster. Based on Giovanna d'Aragona, Duchess of Amalfi. Cariola — Duchess's waiting-woman and privy to her secrets.
She witnesses the Duchess's wedding and delivers her children. She dies tragically by strangling following the murder of the Duchess and the youngest children.
Her name plays on the Italian carriolo, meaning "trundle-bed", where personal servants would have slept. Julia — Castruchio's wife and the Cardinal's mistress. She dies at the Cardinal's hands from a poisoned Bible.
Malateste — A hanger-on at the Cardinal's court. The name means 'headache'. Referred to as a "mere stick of sugar candy" by the Duchess, he is yet another interchangeable courtier conveying the sycophantic court. Doctor — Sent for to diagnose Ferdinand's madness and his supposed " lycanthropia ".
There is also a variety of minor roles including couriers, servants, officers, a mistress, the children, executioners, etc. They further the plot or perform small tasks that cannot be accomplished by the principals. Synopsis[ edit ] The play is set in the court of Malfi AmalfiItaly, from to The recently widowed Duchess falls in love with Antonio, a lowly steward.
Her brothers, Ferdinand and the Cardinal, forbid her from remarrying, seeking to defend their inheritance and desperate to evade a degrading association with their social inferiors.
Suspicious of her, they hire Bosola to spy on her. She elopes with Antonio and bears him three children secretly. Bosola eventually discovers that the Duchess is pregnant but does not know who the father is.
Ferdinand, who is a lunatic and incestuous brother, threatens and disowns the Duchess. In an attempt to escape, she and Antonio concoct a history that Antonio has swindled her out of her fortune and must flee into exile. The Duchess takes Bosola into her confidence, unaware that he is Ferdinand's spy, and arranges for him to deliver her jewellery to Antonio at his hiding-place in Ancona.
She will join them later, while pretending to make a pilgrimage to a nearby town. The Cardinal hears of the plan, instructs Bosola to banish the two lovers, and sends soldiers to capture them.
Antonio escapes with their eldest son, but the Duchess, her maid, and her two younger children are returned to Malfi and die at the hands of Bosola's executioners, who are under Ferdinand's orders.This shopping feature will continue to load items.
In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. The Duchess of Malfi The actor-centered troupe led by Ian McKellen and Edward Petherbridge chose Webster's play as one of their first productions.
Web links for Webster and his plays; The Duchess of Malfi Resource PagePlace premiered: Blackfriars Theatre, London.
Britannica Classics: William Shakespeare This film recounts the life of Shakespeare from his early boyhood through his productive years as a playwright and actor in London. It is a production of Encyclopædia Britannica Educational Corporation.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. The Duchess of Malfi review – a suitable intensity of vision 3 out of 5 stars. Fiona Buffini’s production does justice to John Webster’s play – even if at times the sense of his words is lost.
The Duchess of Malfi at the Globe and Blackfriars R. B. GRAVES IN Russell his admirable Brown argues Revels that Plays the edition The Duchess of Malfi is but one example of many plays known to According to the title page of the second edition, The White Devil.
The HyperTexts English Poetry Timeline and Chronology English Literature Timeline and Chronology World Literature Timeline and Chronology This is a timeline of English poetry and literature, from the earliest Celtic, Gaelic, Druidic, Anglo-Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman works, to the present day.