Questions and Answers for The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi

Bosola is a complicated and fascinating character. He acts the role of both villain and avenger, working first against and then for the duchess. First, Bosola agrees to work as a spy and also...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2018 12:38 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

A revenge tragedy, made popular in Elizabethan and Jacobean Britain, typically tells the story of a protagonist seeking revenge against the murderous actions of an antagonist. Shakespeare's Hamlet...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2018 10:59 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

The play Duchess of Malfi is named after the character and real life historical tragic figure of Duchess of Malfi who was the regent of the southern Italian town of Amalfi between 1498 and 1510....

Latest answer posted September 23, 2018 9:43 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

Gender is one of the most prominent themes that both provides the basic premise and structures the action of The Duchess of Malfi. First, the protagonist is female, which was unusual in Jacobean...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2018 10:33 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi, a play written by John Webster, was first performed around 1613 and first printed in 1623. To briefly summarize, the Duchess of Malfi is a young widow who falls in love with...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2018 10:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

Julia is presented by Webster as very much the foil to the Duchess. Whereas the Duchess is given to us as a respectable aristocratic lady of the utmost refinement and constancy, Julia is portrayed...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2019 8:25 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

Bosola has the Duchess eat the apricots to confirm his suspicions that she is pregnant. Her pregnancy is confirmed when she throws up and goes into labor. It's suggested that they should say the...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2007 6:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

Madness can be a useful device in literature: by abandoning the constraints of sanity and rationality, a character can explore grey areas which are not available to the sane. Elizabethan and...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2019 4:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

The basic plot and characters of these two plays, The Duchess of Malfi and Othello, are quite dissimilar. If I had to pick one play of Shakespeare closest in technique and theme to Webster's...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2020 6:52 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

In act 1, scene 3 of John Webster's Jacobean revenge tragedy The Duchess of Malfi, the widowed Duchess defies her unstable twin brother, Ferdinand, the Duke of Calabria—who threatens her with their...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2020 8:42 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

This is during Act 5, Scene 5 of the play. At the beginning of the scene, the Cardinal is pondering the nature of hell when Bosola enters, along with a servant carrying Antonio's body. Bosola tells...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2018 12:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

Webster, like Shakespeare and other Elizabethan dramatists, uses Italy as a dramatic setting as it allows him to explore sensitive domestic political themes. In that sense, The Duchess of Malfi can...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2018 8:41 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

Bosola is a spy and so used to playing a part. When he comes to arrest the Duchess, with a troop of masked horsemen, that's effectively what he's doing. Earlier in the scene, when he brought...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2017 8:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

In the first case, when Bosola tries to capture the Duchess, he's wearing a mask. This is a sign that he's simply carrying out Ferdinand's orders. He personally has come to admire the Duchess for...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2017 2:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The nature of power in men like Cardinal and Ferdinand is physical, coercive, and assertive with all the manifest derivatives of control, manipulation, pressure, and authority. In The Duchess of...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The difference between blank verse and prose lies in the rhythm, but it can certainly be more difficult to identify the difference between the two in the works of early modern writers other than...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2020 8:42 pm UTC

3 educator answers

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...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2011 9:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi contains elements of the revenge drama, a popular form in 17th century because audiences enjoyed the onstage violence and bloodshed. However, it also veers from the classical...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2016 11:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Duchess of Malfi

As you’re likely aware from having read or seen the play yourself, the Duchess of Malfi faces many hardships. Her sufferings don’t end until she is strangled to death by executioners in her own...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2020 1:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

This Renaissance play paints the aristocracy is a mostly negative light. The brothers of the Duchess are jealous, hypocritical and vindicative. The Cardinal, supposedly a man of God, not only has...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2007 11:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

In The Duchess of Malfi, the audience has no misconceptions about Bosola, the malcontent, released from prison despite his part in a vicious murder. Bosola is not happy with his status in life and...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2014 10:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess stands out in this play as a contrast to practically all the other characters. She is the only true strong, independent personality. She remains true to her own ideals and dies with her...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2012 2:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi portrays its titular heroine as a strong-willed, dignified, and courageous woman. Compared to her brothers Ferdinand and the Cardinal, she is an authority figure with integrity...

Latest answer posted June 14, 2020 12:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

Many important themes found in John Webster's play The Duchess of Malfi are evident or implied right from the very beginning of the work. Delio's opening speech, for instance, alludes to the...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2011 5:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

In act I, scene 1, the Cardinal describes Antonio as very honest. The Cardinal tells Ferdinand that Antonio is "too honest." The Cardinal, the duchess's brother, is an evil and ruthless person, but...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2019 3:14 pm UTC

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The Duchess of Malfi

Ferdinand and his brother the Cardinal are very much two peas in a pod. Each one is as vile, grasping, and immoral as the other, and both contribute in no small way to their sister's tragic demise....

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019 10:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The significance of this story lies in what has just happened to the Duchess. She has just been arrested by Bosola in disguise and is going to be taken to her palace by guards. The story she tells...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2012 2:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The wicked Ferdinand has spent the entire play scheming and plotting to have his sister, the Duchess, brutally tortured and murdered for daring to defy his wishes. There's also a psychosexual...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2019 8:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

Act Four in The Duchess of Malfi is full of captivity-themed language and imagery. In Scene 1 we are told that, "She seems to welcome the end of misery more than shun it." Her treatment in the...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

There's really not much to distinguish Ferdinand from this brother, the Cardinal. They're both devious, greedy, and immoral schemers who deliberately set out to murder their sister out of greed and...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019 11:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

An important example of the intersection between the personal and the political occurs at the conclusion of the play. Antonio, the Cardinal, the Duke and Bosola lie in "this great ruin," with...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2016 7:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

As John Webster's early-1600s revenge play The Duchess of Malfi opens, the Duchess is recently widowed and childless, which places her in a particularly vulnerable position. Without the protection...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019 7:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

One of the things that separates Ferdinand from his equally wicked brother, the Cardinal, is his inconsolable grief at the Duchess's death. Whereas the Cardinal expresses not the slightest...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2019 9:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

The play ends with the death of the Duchess's brothers, who had vied to take her fortune for themselves throughout the entire play. The brothers, having killed the Duchess and her daughters, get...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019 4:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Duchess of Malfi

While The Duchess of Malfi uses a somewhat looser form of blank verse (some shorter or longer lines), Webster's play largely stays in verse. Like other Early Modern dramatists, he follows the...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2019 12:51 am UTC

1 educator answer