Merchant's Tale vs Duchess of Malfi Flashcards Preview

English Drama and Poetry > Merchant's Tale vs Duchess of Malfi > Flashcards

Flashcards in Merchant's Tale vs Duchess of Malfi Deck (12)
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MT The symbol of the key

May is seen as a mouldable person who then uses a mould of the garden key to let Damyan in. It enables her to cheat on Januarie and represents her corruption.


DoM The symbol of the ring

There is a sexual reference with the Duchess giving the ring to Antonio. But both the symbol of the Key and the
Ring show a forbidden relationship and both can be seen as enablers.


MT The Wealth of Januarie

Januarie has spent his entire life living in luxury and is worried about who will get his wealth once he is dead. This is part of the reason why he wants to be married, in order to have an heir


DoM The Wealth of the Duchess

The Duchess lives in a court and has everything at her disposal. This may be why her brothers are both so worried about her remarrying as they are her nearest relations for her wealth.


MT The pregnancy and pear cravings of May.

May implies that she is pregnant to Januarie and uses
this as an excuse to be helped into the pear tree. Of course by the time she descends from the tree she is
pregnant by Damyan.


DoM The pregnancy and supposed cravings of the Apricots of the Duchess.

The Duchess is pregnant by Antonio and is having to hide it (unlike May) but the similarity is drawn from the fruit as Bosola sees it as a test of her cravings and if she is pregnant. It proves him right and leads to her going into labour.


MT Court Like setting- The flattery of Justinus and
the other friends of Januarie.

Januarie is constantly being supported by his friends who
change their opinions according to what he wants.


DoM Those that are ‘toadying’ to the Duchess and
Cardinal etc

Ferdinand tells his posse/entourage that they should only laugh when he tells them to or if he thinks it is funny. This shows the attitude towards the nobles within the court setting.


MT Unconventional marriage between Januarie and

The couple have a large age gap and also come from varying backgrounds. May is from humble origins and Januarie is a knight. She is also much younger than Januarie is, he talks of young flesh and can make the reader a little uncomfortable.


DoM Secret marriage between the Duchess and

The Duchess is a noble who has already been married and is now a widow, she marries Antonio who is technically below her rank. Due to this and her brothers views on remarriage her relationship with Antonio and subsequent children must be kept a secret.


MT Secrets of May and Damyan

May and Damyan must be very secretive with their


DoM Secrets of the Duchess and Antonio, as well as
between Bosola, The Cardinal and Ferdinand.

The Cardinal and Bosola keep many secrets between them and we are told that the Cardinal is involved in spying. There are also huge secrets of The Duchess and Antonio which no one is supposed to know, apart from their closest circle.