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1. The complete works of John Webster,
2. The White Devil
3. The Duchess of Malfi and Other
4. The Duchess of Malfi: John Webster
5. Webster and Ford (English Dramatists)
6. John Webster's the Duchess of
7. John Webster: A Reference Guide
8. Skull Beneath the Skin: The Achievement
9. The World's Perspective: John
10. John Webster, Citizen and Dramatist
11. The Meters of John Webster (American
12. John Webster (Twayne's English
13. A Winter's Snake: Dramatic Form
14. John Webster (Hogarth lectures
15. Tragedy and Tragicomedy in the
16. Webster: The Tragedies (Analysing
17. The Duchess of Malfi: John Webster
18. Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger's
19. The Works of John Webster: An
20. The White Devil Discover'D: Backgrounds

1. The complete works of John Webster, edited by F. L. Lucas
by John (1580?-1625?). Edited by Frank Laurence (1894-1967) Webster
 Hardcover: Pages (1937)

Asin: B000H4D664
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2. The White Devil
by John, 1580-1625 Webster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2004-07-16)
list price: US$0.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
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Asin: B000JMLCTM
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Continuous intrigue and deception, plots and counterplots, and complex motivations
Few works by John Webster have survived, but two - The Duchess of Malfiand The White Devil - have been staged frequently in recent decades. Many readers may remember the young John Webster as a darkly comic figure in that delightful 1998 romantic comedy, Shakespeare in Love. In expressing his admiration to Shakespeare for his gruesome play, Titus Andronicus, the boy observes: "I like it when they cut heads off.And when the daughter was mutilated with knives".I laughed with those around me, as I had some inkling of John Webster's dark reputation, but I had not actually read, nor seen a performance of his plays.

Despite Webster's dark and dismal view of human nature, I found The White Devil to be considerably less gruesome than Titus Andronicus and definitely less shocking. There are some poisonings, stabbings, and stranglings, especially in the final act, but what makes Webster's play truly memorable is the continuous intrigue, deceit, and betrayals.

The White Devil has elements of a revenge play, but the motivations of the characters are more varied and complex. In her introduction to the New Mermaids edition, Christina Luckyj illustrates how Webster adapted to the stage an actual murderous event that occurred in Italy some years earlier. Paolo Giordano, Duke of Brachiano, and the beautiful Vittoria Corombona, as well as others in this play are not entirely fictional.

The second act presents the initial murders, the poisoning of Isabella, wife to Brachiano, and the killing of Camillo, husband to Vittoria, in two dumb shows representing conjurer's images of the actual murders. These silent displays are said to have a somewhat haunting impact on the stage.

Despite no evidence of involvement in Camillo's death, Vittoria is placed on trial for her adulterous affair, is found guilty, and confined to a house of convertites, a house of penitent whores. The murder of Camillo and Isabella goes unpunished, although some do suspect the Duke of Brachiano.

Brachiano's chief rival, Francisco De Medici, the Duke of Florence, quietly plots to have Brachiano and his followers killed. He cleverly tricks Brachiano into effecting the escape of Vittoria. The two are quickly married in a lavish ceremony. Soon thereafter Brachiano and Vittoria are excommunicated by the new Pope, the former Cardinal Monticelso, another long time rival of the Brachiano.

Plots and counterplots collide in act five resulting in the deaths of nearly all key characters. Most die loquaciously, expositing on their guilt and thoughts of divine punishment.

The White Devil does not offer the dramatic impact of a Shakespearean tragedy, nor the tight focus characteristic of most Elizabethan revenge plays. This play's fascination is the continuous intrigue and deception, the plots and counterplots, and the complex motivations of Webster's dark characters. Four stars to The White Devil.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Edgar Alan Poe of Shakespeare'sDay.
For those of you who saw "Shakespeare In Love," you will probably remember John Webster as the 13 year old boy who was obsessed with blood and death. John Webster's plays came out about the time William Shakespeare was putting out his final plays. Hazelton Spencer says this of John Webster: "Even Webster's most lyrical verse is preoccupied with decay and death." But if we are willing to move past this, John Webster's writing is actually quite impressive. Act 1 begins with the banishment of Count Lodovico. Interestingly, Lodovico tells of the evil Bracciano. (Why not? It would seem people of an evil nature would know each other.) And through the testimony of his judges, we are introduced to the evil behind Lodovico. We later meet the diabolical Bracciano himself. He is having an affair with his friend Flamineo's sister Vittoria. Not surprisingly, Vittoria has a nightmare about a massacre. We later see that Cornelia (the mother of Vittoria and Flamineo) does not care for them. In Act 2, we meet the Cardinal. We are allowed to respect him in that he is no flatterer. Webster then shows us the division between the diabolical Bracciano and the at least moderately virtuous Francisco. (Francisco is of course angered that his sister Isabella is being mistreated by her husband Bracciano.) But Bracciano's untainted son Giovanni breaks the tension with some comic relief. With the use of magical images, Bracciano sees his murder plot against his wife Isabella and Vittoria's husband Camillo come to pass. But Lodovico sees the death of Isabella, and he will return before long. Onto Act 3. The Cardinal suspects that Vittoria had something to do with her husband's death. We know that it was not Vittoria's fault, but how sorry can we feel for her? If she was this intimate with the diabolical Bracciano, how ignorant could she have been (unless she was very obtuse) to the evil she submitted herself to? The Cardinal sentences Vittoria to life as a nun. During the trial, Flamineo is frightened that his part in aiding the affair will come out. And Lodovico makes his return. He loved Isabella (even though she would not submit to having an affair with him), and Lodovico will avenge her. (Perhaps Webster was trying to use contrast between Isabella and Vittoria to limit our sympathy to Vittoria.) Onto Act 4. The Cardinal informs Francisco of his sister's murder. Francisco of course wants revenge. While we have no real reason to dislike the Cardinal or see him as a bad person, it is interesting that the Cardinal has a book of criminals. Can we doubt for a moment that Lodovico is listed in it? (But like Shakespeare and Dickens, Webster is really skilled at creating fully 3d characters as opposed to Hollywood heroes and villains.) Isabella's ghost appears to Francisco. (Probably to make sure Francisco will not hesitate in his revenge.) Bracciano and Vittoria meet again, and while Vittoria is reluctant, she and Bracciano marry. Act 4 ends with the Cardinal becoming Pope. After rebuking Lodovico, the Cardinal approves of him joining in Fracisco's revenge. Perhaps here, Webster is pointing out a 'terrible truth' that Hollywood can't figure out. As people, we are not 100 % good or evil. And while the cardinal is a virtuous person, he agrees to the revenge on Bracciano even to the point of employing the evil Lodovico. And while we know Lodovico is evil, we probably will applaud him if he contributes to Bracciano's comeuppance. Onto Act 5. Bracciano and Vittoria marry. Disuised, Francisco finds his way into Bracciano's territory. Well, Fracisco and Lodovico succeed in killing Bracciano. But things are not quite over. Giovanni is sad over his father's death. Vittoria (Bracciano's widow) is in charge for the moment. And Flamineo thinks he can get some money out of his sister. (Why not? He aided her in her affair. Vittoria probably has access to money now.) Bracciano's ghost appears to Flamineo foreshadowing his downfall. Interestingly, in John Webster, ghosts appear to the people who were close to them as opposed to their enemies. The play ends in the massacre of Zanche, Flamineo, and Vittoria by Lodovico. (Undoubtedly, Francisco and Lodovico wanted them dead as well to avenge Isabella.) Giovanni to some extent restores orders and Lodovico tells Giovanni that Francisco was involved. Lodovico can be punished, But what can Giovanni do to his uncle Francisco? Francisco is also a duke. Overall, its a good play, but you do have to have a tolerance for brutal scenes as well as passages preoccupied with death.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Play
After you read this, read The Duchess of Malfi, considered Webster's masterpiece.You cannot go wrong with the Revels editions of these plays.

4-0 out of 5 stars Marlowe and Shakespeare's Protege (Corrected)
For those of you who read my reviews and use them to try to understand literature, I owe you an apology. I made a slight error in my review of this, and I will correct it now. For those of you who know me, I cherish the writings of Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton, Hawthorne, and Dickens. I now have a 6th hero. The opening is quite captivating when through testimony we learn of Lodovico's evil. Webster also grabs our attention with the affair between Vittoria and Bracciano. Despite the questionable qualities of these 2 characters, they are easy to like. He also draws the division between the virtuous Francisco and the ambitious Bracciano well. Cornelia is memorable as the mother who despairs over the actions of her children Flamineo and Vittoria. Isabella is fine as a picture of innocence. The Cardinal is captivating as one of the most careful characters in the play,and we need not be surprised when he gets elected Pope. Bracciano's son Giovanni is drawn well. Through an early appearance, we get a look at his character. We then see him in mourning after he has lost both his parents. Finally, we see him restore order after the massacre has fully unleashed. Lodovico is fine as a picture of ambition. (The mistake I made was that I named Lodovico in the murder of Isabella. He was innocent of her murder. But it is possible to wonder if his affair with her 'Bracciano's wife' triggered Bracciano's affair with Vittoria. Ofcourse, the affair between Bracciano and Vittoria triggers the events of this play.) Webster also offers us horrifying and yet beautiful passages, chilling omens such as the ghosts of Isabella and Bracciano, and pure suspense. My only complaint about this is that Lodovico's delight in his massacre does not mix well with Giovanni's sudden rise to power and his restoration of order. In Marlowe's "Edward II," the 17 year old Edward III fills his enemies with pure terror when he gains control of the situation. Once again, I apologize for my error, and I wish to thank all of you who found my reviews helpful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Marlowe and Shakespeare's Protege
For those of you familiar with my writing, you know I cherish the works of Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton, Hawthorne, and Dickens. Well, I now have a 6th favorite. Lodovico is frighteningly demonic. 1st he participates in the murder of Isabella, then he participates in the revenge of Isabella! Poor Isabella is memorable as a picture of innocence. Vittoria is an interesting woman. She is not exactly a picture of innocence, but she does carry herself well, and she faces her death with as much dignity as possible. Webster also draws the dissension between Francisco and Bracciano well. Bracciano is captivating with all of his ambition. Francisco is memorable as the good and decent man prompted to fury by the death of his innocent sister. The harsh tones between Cornelia and her son Flamineo are dramatic. Bracciano's son Giovanni is well drawn. First he is an innocent young man, but his lines reveal his good character. Then we see him after he has lost both his parents. Finally, he flips the tables on everyone and restores order. Cardinal Monticelso is also captivating. He is a very careful character who probes the situations without losing his sense of reason. And we need not be surprised when this careful character is promoted to Pope Paul IV. What's left? Only striking images, only well constructed passages, only pure terror side by side with beauty etc. My only complaint about this play is that Webster combines 2 wonderful final touches that would be wonderful by themselves, but do not combine well (in my opinion). Lodovico's delight in his massacre does not (in my opinion) mix well with Giovanni's sudden rise to power and his sudden crush of the situation. In my opinion what makes Edward III's restoration to order in Marlowe's "Edward II" so dramatic is the pure terror the 17 year old king instills in his enemies. At this point, I would like to thank all of you who found my reviews helpful. ... Read more

3. The Duchess of Malfi and Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics)
by John Webster
Paperback: 480 Pages (1998-10-22)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.58
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Asin: 0192834533
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Editorial Review

Book Description
This volume offers John Webster's two great Jacobean tragedies, The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi, together with his brilliant tragicomedy, The Devil's Law-Case, and the comedy written with William Rowley, A Cure for a Cuckold.Webster is a radically and creatively experimental dramatist. His tragedies deploy shifting dramatic perspectives which counteract and challenge conventional moral judgements, while the predominantly gentler tone of his comedies and tragicomedies responds inventively to contemporary changes in dramatic taste and fashion.All four plays display the provocative intelligence of a profoundly original playwright.Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation.In addition, there is detailed annotation, a glossary, and a critical introduction which traces Webster's artistic development, defends him against charges of over-indulgence in violence, and explores his sophisticated staging and scenic forms. ... Read more

4. The Duchess of Malfi: John Webster (New Casebooks)
Hardcover: 238 Pages (2000-05-19)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$54.95
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Asin: 0312228619
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Editorial Review

Book Description

In The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster reworked the idea of a female tragic protagonist explored in his earlier and less well-received play, The White Devil. In the play, Webster's character is a widow who decides to remarry, thus dramatizing a situation of social and family conflict, which reveals the problematics of gender hierarchy both in the family and the state. The essays in this volume not only acknowledge but also foreground the questions of gender raised by feminist historiography, and in this they represent an important intervention in a critical tradition which has deflected issues of gender and sexuality.
... Read more

5. Webster and Ford (English Dramatists)
by Rowland Wymer
 Hardcover: 174 Pages (1995-05)
list price: US$45.00
Isbn: 0312124554
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6. John Webster's the Duchess of Malfi (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
 Library Binding: 144 Pages (1987-11)
list price: US$24.95
Isbn: 0877549206
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7. John Webster: A Reference Guide (Reference Publication in Literature)
by Samuel Schuman
 Hardcover: 280 Pages (1985-07)
list price: US$61.00 -- used & new: US$61.00
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Asin: 081618433X
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8. Skull Beneath the Skin: The Achievement of John Webster
by Charles R Forker
 Hardcover: 624 Pages (1986-09-15)
list price: US$51.95 -- used & new: US$51.95
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Asin: 0809312794
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Book Description

Webster was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin;
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin.

These lines from T. S. Eliot’s “Whispers of Immortality” provide Charles R. Forker with the title for the most sub­stantial and detailed examination of John Webster to date; they also identify a ma­jor theme—the love-death nexus in
Re­naissance drama and its special relevance to Webster.

Forker summarizes what is known about Webster’s life and analyzes in de­tail not only the major plays but also the lesser ones. He examines The White De­vil, The Duchess of Malfi, and The Devil’s Law-Case in context with the minor and collaborative works, tracing themes, stylistic features, and ideas through the entire Webster canon.

One reviewer of the manuscript notes that “Forker is surely unrivalled as an authority on matters Websterian. His book treats Webster with an unhurried fullness and richness rarely accorded even to Shakespeare.” Another calls the book “Splendid. Readable and engaging.”
... Read more

9. The World's Perspective: John Webster and the Jacobean Drama
by Lee Bliss
 Hardcover: 246 Pages (1983-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$5.50
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Asin: 081350967X
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10. John Webster, Citizen and Dramatist
by M. C. Bradbrook
 Hardcover: 218 Pages (1980-11)
list price: US$76.50
Isbn: 023105162X
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11. The Meters of John Webster (American University Studies, XIII, Linguistics, Vol 12)
by Betty Jane Schlerman
 Hardcover: 243 Pages (1989-11)
list price: US$37.95 -- used & new: US$36.38
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Asin: 0820410969
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12. John Webster (Twayne's English Authors Series)
by Margaret Loftus Ranald
 Hardcover: 149 Pages (1989-04)
list price: US$25.95
Isbn: 0805769765
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13. A Winter's Snake: Dramatic Form in the Tragedies of John Webster
by Christina Luckyj
 Hardcover: 208 Pages (1989-11)
list price: US$27.50
Isbn: 0820311448
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14. John Webster (Hogarth lectures on literature, [16])
by Clifford Leech
 Library Binding: 122 Pages (1969-06)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$75.00
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Asin: 083830690X
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Book Description
A critical study of the 17th century playwright and his works, including a bibliography.

THIS TITLE IS CITED AND RECOMMENDED BY:Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature; Books for College Libraries. ... Read more

15. Tragedy and Tragicomedy in the Plays of John Webster
by Jacqueline Pearson
 Hardcover: 151 Pages (1980-06)
list price: US$44.50 -- used & new: US$70.98
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Asin: 0389200301
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In this study, Pearson argues that Webster embellished tragedy with wild irony and horrid laughter because this perfectly expressed his view of life-full of "clashing extremes." ... Read more

16. Webster: The Tragedies (Analysing Texts)
by Kate Aughterson
Hardcover: 278 Pages (2001-04-14)
list price: US$89.43 -- used & new: US$42.50
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Asin: 0333801296
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Book Description

Webster's theatre was also Shakespeare's theatre: but their tragedies are very different. Webster has a reputation for angst-ridden, obsessive, and debased characters and the creation of a sick and decaying world. Yet his heroines are amongst the strongest characters, man or woman, in Jacobean drama. This book shows that Webster's plays portray a world in which patriarchal, aristocratic politics are dissected and diseased. Through close analysis of key moments, scenic and dramatic structure, characterisation, theatricality and imagery, this book enables students to appreciate Webster's individual contribution to our dramatic heritage. Through such textual reading, we learn how he uses drama to debate contemporary political and social issues, most explicitly those of gender. The book provides students with effective reading, critical and analytical tools with which to approach Webster's plays as dramatic scripts for our time, and as rivals to Shakespeare's major tragedies.
... Read more

17. The Duchess of Malfi: John Webster (Revels Student Editions)
by John Webster
Paperback: 192 Pages (1997-06-15)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$8.00
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Asin: 0719043573
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

More widely studied and more frequently performed than ever before, John Webster's The Duchesss of Malfi is here presented in an accessible and thoroughly up-to-date edition. Based on the often reprinted Revels Plays Edition of 1964, the notes have been augmented to cast further light on Webster's amazing dialogue and on the stage action which it implies. An entirely new introduction sets the tragedy in the context of pre-Civil War England and gives a revealing view of its themes, action and visual imagery. From its well-documented early performances to the two productions seen in the West End of London in the 1995-96 season, a stage history gives an account of the play in performance. Students, actors, directors and theatre-goers will fiind here a reappraisal of Webster's artistry in the tragedy which stands in the very first rank of plays from perhaps the greatest age of English theatre, and reasons why it has lived on stage with renewed force in the last decades of the twentieth century.
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ANTONIO. 'Tis great pity He should be thus neglected: I have heard He 's very valiant. This foul melancholy Will poison all his goodness; for, I 'll tell you, If too immoderate sleep be truly said. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars John Webster's "Romeo and Juliet"
John Webster will probably never be as popular as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, or even Cliff Marlowe. Nevertheless, his writing is quite impressive. His plays came out about the time Shakespeare was putting out his final plays. As the play begins, we meet Bosola. While he is a murderer, he offers several intersting passages, and he is not quite a 2d villain. Bosola expresses his dislike for Duke Ferdinand and his brother the Cardinal. This opinion is shared by the Duchess's eventual husband Antonio. This allows Webster to prepare the villains of this story. The wicked Ferdinand expresses his wish for his sister (the Duchess) not to marry. Eventually, we will learn that he wants control over her estates. (How unheard of! Especially today!) He asks Bosola to spy on the Duchess. Bosola is a bit hesitant, but he proceeds. Well, the Duchess against her wicked brother's request marries Antonio secretly. Some time passes, and Bosola suspects that the Duchess is pregnant. While Antonio suspects the foul play of Bosola, he is basically a loving, but not so able man. Ferdinand of course finds out that his request has been disregarded. Interestingly, the cardinal comes off a little better when his cautious side contrasts with Ferdinand's rages. Onto Act 3. The Duchess and Antonio now havechildren. While Ferdinand knows the Duchess has married, he does NOT know Antonio is the husband. The poor Duchess makes the mistake of appealing to Bosola for help, and of course all is found out. Antonio is banished to Ancona. The parting between Antonio and the Duchess is quite sad. But all is not lost. Antonio flees to Milan and they may still be together. Sadly, hope disappears as the Duchess is arrested. Ferdinand orders Bosola to murder her, and while Bosola does hesitate, he performs the cruel murder of the Duchess. It is interesting that Bosola's evil deeds are often accompanied by hesitation and regret, as well as some interesting passages on the harsh truths of the human condition. But Webster does not stop here. Ferdinand's cruelty gives way to insanity and he taunts Bosola for carrying out his orders. Onto the final act. Poor Antonio (not knowing his wife is dead) has heard of Ferdinand's insanity. He thinks perhaps he can reconcile with the Cardinal. Soon we see that the cardinal is not quite an accomplished psychopath. With Ferdinand gone, he sinks further and further into panic trying to cover the bloody mess. In a well done scene, fragments of Antonio's echo foreshadow his downfall. Bosola accidentally kills Antonio and is filled with regret. The final scene begins with the cardinal giving a passage on fear of damnation. In a brutal massacre, Bosola, Ferdinand, and the Cardinal all die. The play ends with a restoration to order by the son of Antonio and the Duchess, but like Shakespeare's "King Lear," it doesn't take away the sadness of the play. Overall, it's a good play that combines an interesting variety of villains, romance, tragedy, suspense, horror, and dark comedy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A violent psychosexual play
John Webster's play "The Duchess of Malfi" is a violent play that presents a dark, disturbing portrait of the human condition. According to the introductory note in the Dover edition, the play was first presented in 1613 or 1614.

The title character is a widow with two brothers: Ferdinand and the Cardinal. In the play's opening act, the brothers try to persuade their sister not to seek a new husband. Her resistance to their wishes sets in motion a chain of secrecy, plotting, and violence.

The relationship between Ferdinand and the Duchess is probably one of the most unsettling brother-sister relationships in literature. The play is full of both onstage killings and great lines. The title character is one of stage history's intriguing female characters; she is a woman whose desires lead her to defy familial pressure. Another fascinating and complex character is Bosola, who early in the play is enlisted to act as a spy. Overall, a compelling and well-written tragedy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Necessary background for Agatha Christie & Dorothy L. Sayers
This is a review of the New Mermaids edition of The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster.Elisabeth M. Brennan edits this edition (ISBN: 0393900665.)I mention this incase it is cross-posted under some other editor's edition.

I bought this after reading snippets of it in other books.I do not recall having to learn this in school.Only now do I intend to read "The White Devil" in anticipation of it being encountered in other works.

Well what do you know?This animal is based on a true story of the Duchess of Amalfi.Evidentially there were several books written on this and he picked one for the outline of the play.

This edition is almost as good as taking a class in its self.The introduction gives you a back ground and the basic story that the play was based on.You get some information on John Webster and some of his other plays.There is even a further Reading List.There are even notes on the text and how to read the notes for the different versions of the play its self.By the time you get to the play you are well prepared to read it.

The play its self has stanzas, line numbers and notes to help you through the difficulty of understanding what the words mean in context.It is almost like reading a bible.You soon pickup speed and then actually get intrigued in the writing and story.

Now I desperately want some local theater to present "The duchess of Malfi"

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb play
Of the "popular" editions of this play that by John Russell Brown (Revels Student Editions) and Elizabeth Brennan (New Mermaids) are both useful, though it must be said that no edition as yet does adequate justice to Webster's compexity - notably his presentation of Ferdinand. The play is both a tour de force and profoundly searching. It is perhaps the first major feminist play in England, with the Duchess presented as an outstandingly noble even if fallible character, the victim of her two evil "partriarchal" brothers. Of these, her twin brother Ferdinand is among the most intelligently conceived characters to appear on the Jacobean stage. Unknowingly (i.e. in his "unconscious") he is incestuously in love with his sister. Unable to cope with this "taboo" feeling, he tries to "repress" it unsuccessfully, and finally his ... "libido" comes to express itself in a violent wish to destroy her if he cannot ... own her, and he ends up believing himself to be a wolf, attempting to dig up her grave after he has had her killed. Obviously, then, this is a very Freudian work - anticipating Freud's insights brilliantly by some four centuries, and without lapsing into Freud's extravagantly improbable claims about such matters as the Oedipus complex. It is the working of the unconcious, as a reservoir of what we do not understand and cannot control, which is quite central in this play, and Ferdinand's ... confusion is potently contrasted with his sister's openminded, acknowledged and generous ... health. An outstanding play, recommended as among the best of its time (comparable in quality and interest to e.g. *Othello* or *The Changeling*). - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University, South Australia

4-0 out of 5 stars Bloody, Gory, and Beautiful
I do not feel Webster's "Duchess of Malfi" quite matches his "The White Devil." Nevertheless, it is still an excellent play. Only Webster could combine this much violence and beauty so well! Webster starts the play well when Antonio and Delio make comments onquestionable characters. (Bosola and the Cardinal) Bosola is drawn well as the hired hand reluctant to join the demonic Ferdinand. 2.5 is captivating when Ferdinand explodes with fury upon discovering that the Duchess has married. The cardinal shows an interesting foil to Ferdinand when he tries to encourage caution. The fury exchanged between Ferdinand and the Duchess in 3.2 is memorable. Bosola offers a striking passage on politicians in 3.2. The tragic ceremony in 3.4 is sorrowful and yetbeautiful. The parting of Antonio and the Duchess in 3.5 is very lamentable. 4.1 allows us to see that Ferdinand is not only evil, but demented as well. This paves the way for his final insanity. Bosola's hesitation to carry out the murder is well constructed. Ferdinand's final torture of the Duchess reminds us that he is not simply cruel, but psychotic as well. The Duchess is memorable when she faces her death with dignity. Webster DOES NOT stop here! Ferdinand actually taunts the hired killer and this paves the way for the final act. 5.3 is a scene that not even Marlowe or Shakespeare ever used. Fragments of Antonio's own echo foreshadow his death. Bosola's accidental murder of Antonio and his remorse pave the way for the final massacre! Even here, Webster keeps his efforts up. The cardinal's passage on fear of damnation keeps us in chills. Bosola's death and passage of remorse is a fitting end for this excellent work. My only complaint about this play is that the Cardinal could have been more complex. ... Read more

18. Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger's Tragedy; The White Devil; The Changeling (Penguin Classics)
by Cyril Tourneur, John Webster, Thomas Middleton
Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-04-26)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$5.95
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Asin: 0141441240
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
Following Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, the new court of King James was beset by political instability and moral corruption. This atmosphere provided fertile ground for the dramatists of the age, who explored the ways in which social decadence and the abuse of power breed resentment, leading inexorably to violent retribution.

In Cyril Tourneur’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, the debauched son of an Italian Duke attempts to rape the virtuous Gloriana—a veiled reference to Elizabeth I. John Webster’s The White Devil depicts a sinister world of intrigue and murderous infidelity, while The Changeling, perhaps Thomas Middleton’s supreme achievement, powerfully portrays a woman bringing about her own unwitting destruction. All three are masterpieces of brooding intensity, dominated by images of decay, disillusionment, and death. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars The format, notes etc.
I believe the book could have been a lot more accesible with a foot-note system or even a numbered note system. The notes are marked only with '*' and paging back and forth through the text can be (and is) very tiresome. Other than that the book is a great size for travel reading and the font is easily dicipherable. ... Read more

19. The Works of John Webster: An Old-Spelling Critical Edition (The Works of John Webster)
by John Webster
Hardcover: 747 Pages (1995-11-24)
list price: US$190.00
Isbn: 0521260590
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
This is the first of two volumes to appear in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of John Webster, beginning with the plays The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi. While both of these plays are available in modernized versions, the Cambridge edition incorporates the most recent editorial scholarship, including valuable information on Webster's biography, new critical methods, and textual theory. The edition also presents previously unpublished material, such as a fragment of an otherwise lost play and a hitherto unknown poem, in addition to a brief biography of Webster, a history of the Webster canon, and each play's reception history. The following volume will include the other plays as well as the poems and prose. ... Read more

20. The White Devil Discover'D: Backgrounds and Foregrounds to Webster's Tragedy (American Univ Studies, Series IV, English Language & Literature Vol 5)
by Frederick O. Waage
 Paperback: 185 Pages (1984-03)
list price: US$19.70 -- used & new: US$19.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0820400556
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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