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1

John Webster

1580-1630

2

new monarch

King James I of England
he loved arts and theatre

3

DOM first performance

Blackfriar's theatre in 1614

4

Civil War impact

1642-1651
long parliament led by Puritans who viewed theatre as immoral behaviour

5

1642

Puritan ascendancy put an end to public performance of plays until restoration in 1660

6

the tragic heroine

Duchess power wealth sensuality-- male theatre goers and readers might have found unnerving threatening

7

woman roles in theatres

played by men -- contradicts the Power of the character Duchess

8

Theatrical parallel

Shakespeare's Cleopatra who shared same traits as Duchess

9

Italian setting

for audience Italian court represented corruption and deception
reputation from distrust of Catholic Church

10

Characters symbolism of court

Delio and Duchess honourable to court
Ferdinand, Cardinal, Bosola deeply involved in corruption

11

Websters use of horror

confronts audience directly with physical violence and psychological torture

12

what are scholars left wondering

whether Webster was a exploiter of audience shock or a nihilistic denier of human value

13

The white devil

Webster employs a anti catholic sentiment in the stereotypes in the white devil

14

Jacobean view of widows

seen as lustful, remarriage frowned upon as expected to stay faithful to husband
"lusty widow"
"like a tame elephant"

15

Machiavellian

any means cane used to maintain political power

16

Aristotle

concept of tragic hero -- should have a hermartia a person of eminence