What are the main themes of The Duchess of Malfi?

The Duchess of Malfi Themes

  • Politics and Corruption.
  • Love and Male Authority.
  • Guilt, Death, and Suffering.
  • Religion and Sin.
  • Class.

How is the theme of class portrayed in Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi?

Class is shown, on the one hand, to be binding and restricting (as it is one of the reasons the marriage is so scandalous and ends so tragically), but Webster’s play also suggests that class is fluid, that figures can rise and fall in status, and that true worth and merit should be given a greater value than birth.

What is the historical significance of John Webster play The Duchess of Malfi?

John Webster’s play The Duchess of Malfi is historically significant for a number of different reasons, including the following: It exemplifies the emergence of Webster as an important successor to Shakespeare as a writer of tragedies in the history of the English theater.

What is The Duchess of Malfi based on?

Published in 1623, the play is loosely based on events that occurred between 1508 and 1513 surrounding Giovanna d’Aragona, Duchess of Amalfi (d. 1511), whose father, Enrico d’Aragona, Marquis of Gerace, was an illegitimate son of Ferdinand I of Naples.

How would you describe the relationship between Antonio and the Duchess?

This marriage between Antonio and the Duchess is figured as a true partnership; the Duchess married Antonio purely out of love, in spite of custom and opposition, as he had no special status or nobility.

Is Duchess of Malfi Senecan tragedy?

The Duchess of Malfi is a macabre revenge tragedy written in 1613 or 1614 and originally published in 1623 as The Tragedy of the Duchess of Malfi.

How is the Duchess of Malfi killed?

The Duchess of Malfi dies by strangulation. Bosola leads executioners to her chamber to strangle her.

What are the themes in the Duchess of Malfi?

The Duchess of Malfi | Themes. Corruption. Corruption is one of John Webster’s most pervasive themes in The Duchess of Malfi, operating on at least three levels: political, moral, and physical (bodily).

What happens to Bosola and Ferdinand in the Duchess of Malfi?

With the information confirmed, Bosola he writes a letter to the Duchess’s brothers to tell them the news. The brothers are both incensed, but the Cardinal maintains a cool calm, whereas Ferdinand grows erratically angry. Neither of them realizes that she is married, and hence assume the baby is a bastard.

Who are the brothers of the Duchess of Malfi?

The Duchess is a young widow whose two brothers, Ferdinand and the Cardinal, are visiting her from Rome at the play’s start. Antonio, the manager of her household, has just returned from France.

How is the Duchess of Malfi a paragon of light?

Disguise is so prevalent in the play that even the Duchess, the paragon of light, must employ it. In her first appearance on stage, she tells her brothers, “I’ll never marry” (1.1.293), and then before the scene is even over, she has proposed to and married Antonio. Clearly, she had disguised her true intentions from them.