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"Richard David believes that the Duchess is responsible for her own downfall. Fredrick Allen, however,..."
Richard David believes that the Duchess is responsible for her own downfall. Fredrick Allen, however, states that the downfall of the Duchess is entirely the responsibility of her evil brothers aided by the murderous Bosola.Consider the relative merits of
Author:
Ryan Wilkins
The Duchess of Malfi is a revenge tragedy written in 1614. Both Webster's masterpieces 'The White Devil and 'The Duchess of Malfi' are based on stories of Italian women who fail to conform to society's perceptions. The play deals with corruption, attitudes towards women and revenge. The Duchess is portrayed to the reader as a stereotypical widow of a patriarchal society. At the time women were seen as weak and frail and so it suggests that the brothers were responsible for the Duchesses downfall however Webster portrays the Duchess as strong and wilful yet also a tragic victim of psychopathic cruelty. Therefore it suggests that both critics are right depending on how they perceive the play. In my opinion I believe that the brothers are mainly responsible for her the Duchesses downfall, nonetheless the Duchess does also play a part; as a result it is a combination of both.


The marriage of the Duchess and Antonio make the Duchess seem very naive and childlike. The secret marriage is not seen as something of sexual desire and lust but for companionship 'tis not a figure cut in alabaster to kneel at my husbands tomb' Even at this point the Duchess comes across as strong, and longing for love and affection. Yet this secret marriage brings about the downfall of the Duchess, therefore it seems that Richard David is right in saying that the downfall of the Duchess is entirely her fault.


The childlike innocence seen in the Duchess can also be seen when the Duchess says to Antonio 'time will easily scatter the tempest' this naivety shows that the Duchess believes that her brothers will give in. Webster therefore gives the audience an ultimatum whether we are meant to pity the Duchess or admire her. This is shown through Cariola her servant 'whether...

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"Richard David believes that the Duchess is responsible for her own downfall. Fredrick Allen, however, states that the downfall of the Duchess is entirely the responsibility of her evil brothers aided by the murderous Bosola.Consider the relative merits of." EssayPedia.com. Oct 20, 2014
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essay on Richard David believes that the Duchess is responsible for her own downfall. Fredrick Allen, however, states that the downfall of the Duchess is entirely the responsibility of her evil brothers aided by the murderous Bosola.Consider the relative merits of
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4 (983 words)
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Added:
02/16/2012
Category:
Literature / English
Plagiarism level of this essay is: 100%
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