However, he we want to consider The Duchess of Malfi as a Revenge Tragedy, we need to know what we mean by revenge tragedy and its major conventions. Duchess of Malfi Answer: The revenge play or revenge tragedy is a tragedy in which a murder victim is avenged, often by a younger kinsmen. ‘DUCHESS OF MALFI’ AS A REVENGE TRAGEDY | The main aim of this work is to point out series of revenge that occurs in the text and find.

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Webster tires to make the spirit of his dead protagonists. Drawing partly on precedents in Senecan tragedy, the English revenge tragedy is far more bloodthirsty in its explicit presentation of premeditated tragsdy. The narrative should incorporate ghosts, skulls and madness.

She resourcefully pursues Wilmore and wins him. Later the tradition was practiced by other playwrights before Webster. They think that the Duchess has destroyed the reputation and status of their family.

The Duchess of Malfi is a play replete with darkness, both literal and figurative. These conditions were associated with a diminishment in the influence of traditional institutions such as religion and the aristocracy and the rise of new institutions to replace them. Taking revenge and murdering people are the integral part of revenge tragedy. The character of the rake-hero is a product of Restoration society.

The main themes of the play are: Here it is Ferdinand who becomes mad. It is also a way for the heroines themselves to challenge the social limitations imposed by husbands, fathers, and brothers that parallels and competes with the rake-heroes’ desire for freedom of sexual expression.

The Duke advices the scheme to torture the Duchess with the intention of turning her mad.


English Literature Essays: The Duchess of Malfi as a Revenge Tragedy

The spectacle of waxen images of the dead bodies of Antonio and children presented before the Duchess is another horrid scene. Taking revenge and murdering people are the integral part of revenge tragedy.

They are the victims of an insensate fury that blinds the eyes, maddens the drain, and poisons the springs of pity. Thus, the balance between sex and power in Willmore’s personality leans more towards the enjoyment of sex, and his manipulation extends only to the women in service of this goal. Revenge runs throughout The Duchess of Malfi. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. This is probably because his goal is to have sex rather than to cuckold.

There are good figures, and these characters are associated with light.

“The Duchess of Malfi” as a Jacobean Revenge Tragedy

Also, the marriage of a high born lady is supposed to be subject to political arrangement but not to personal whim. Webster also diverted from Senecan model in presenting the supernatural elements. Still, just be careful when you make bold statements. But ironically he, not the Duchess, becomes mad. You may discern the share of loveliness, More perfect in her tears than in the smile.

Finally, great emphasis is placed on witty dialogue and repartee for its own sake. The plot should involve physical horrors, such as poisoning and torture. Although Webster wrote this recenge following the tradition of revenge tragedy, he has modified some of its aspects to make it unique. Maalfi should be Italianate or Ervenge European settings. Nearly all of the major playwrights of the time contributed trwgedy this class of drama.

If he has done so, on what basis do you conclude that it is a ‘true’ revenge tragedy? The play holds the typical stereotype of a Jacobean Revenge Tragedy. He too is cynical about love and is the most insightful of the characters when it comes to seeing through disguises; he recognizes Helena dressed as a boy, and gives away Belville’s disguise earlier in the same scene.


It can also w seen that in the end when he realizes the gravity of the crime he has committed and wishes to take revenge, he ends up killing Atonio unintentionally.

JavaScript is our friend. In this drama, we find people taking revenge and are murdering others.

The plot should involve physical horrors such as poisoning and torture. So, in a word we can say that it is a perfect revenge tragedy. Antonio is killed and Ferdinand, Cardinal and Bosola all meet their death at the end.

“The Duchess of Malfi” as a Jacobean Revenge Tragedy | Raadaa

The name Revenge Tragedy arose from the Senecan tradition of making revenge the motive force for the action that leads to the tragedy.

Another image of madness occurs in Ferdinand’s fury. However, The Duchess of Malfi contains full of such terrifying, hair-raising situations from the beginning to the end.

This play contains the depth of extreme violence, plotting and mostly revenge on the best part which are the chief elements of revenge tragedy. A ‘typical’ Jacobean revenge tragedy contains conventions: Werewolves, speaking in a modern day sense, are not a common occurrence.

You’ve just said that it doesn’t follow a revenge tragedy!