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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A ‘typical’ Jacobean revenge tragedy contains conventions: Firstly, the tragic protagonist is a woman. He too is cynical about love and is the most insightful of the characters when it comes rrvenge seeing through disguises; he recognizes Helena dressed as a boy, and gives away Belville’s disguise earlier in the same scene.

On the other hand, the brothers, who exhibit unrelenting evil, are associated with motifs of darkness, fire, the devil, and sin.

Wit is also a comic and clever way to ma,fi a member of the opposite sex. Synopsis The heart of the story is the relationship between the widowed Duchess and her steward, Antonio, whom she secretly marries, defying both social convention and the wishes of her ax, the Cardinal and Ferdinand, her twin. However melodramatic episodes are seen earlier too.

It can also be 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. Click here to sign up.

“The Duchess of Malfi” as a Jacobean Revenge Tragedy

One of the features unique to Restoration comedy is the figure of the rake as romantic hero. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Bosola plans to save Antonio, who had escaped, revebge punish the brothers, but he mistakenly kills Antonio instead. 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.


While violence was a common part of plays in the English Renaissance, Webster’s are remarkable for the inventive and grotesque ways in which that violence is depicted. We have seen that there was a love affair between the Duchess and Antonio and at last they marry and they produce three children. Ferdinand starts to fancy that he is a wolf then to behave accordingly. Bosola succeeds in killing both brothers, but is himself killed in the duchesw. He starts even to attack his own shadow.

There is absolutely nothing unrealistically supernatural in the play.

In real life, the guilty parties were never brought to any justice. Order should be restored at the end of the play. Brutal human impulses is the essential subject matter and it turns into complex, often deeply thought provoking aesthetic experiences. Yet, she cannot free herself from the social necessities dcuhess female chastity and conventional marriage.

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

Yet, as pointed out above, women’s growing awareness of their traedy and their aspirations for more freedom in expression does not in the plays, and did not in society, translate into a change of female legal status until the following century.

This is probably because his goal is to have sex rather than to cuckold. They also echo the male heroes in their desires for freedom and self-expression which may be linked to the traagedy popularity of middle-class values. Order should be restored at the end of the play. Lust should be a strong motivation. It can be seen that how he works for ferdinand and cardinal and acts as a spy to the duchess but fails to get the wishful rewards.

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

The problem of aspiration and limitation, as with appearance trzgedy reality, is dealt with by the female use of masks and disguises which generalizes the female experience in the play. At the behest of Ferdinand, Bosola kills the Duchess, but is then overwhelmed with remorse. The narrative should incorporate ghosts, skulls and madness. Following the political and social turmoil tragedt the English Civil War, the Restoration Age was characterized by a sense of loss and cultural disillusion coupled with efforts to restore social stability and cohesion.


He probably wrote it in either orand it was first staged before the end of The use of disguise allows many of the female characters to skirt oc restrictions but it also reveals how repressive their conventional roles actually are. If we want to consider The Duchess of Malfi as a Revenge Tragedy from the light of the characterizations of Revenge Tragedy pointed out previously, we will find almost all the elements of Revenge Tragedy in The Duchess of Malfi.

The revengeful brothers fuchess both villains.

He cannot accept the fact that his twin sister has a lover in secret. Restoration drama is not just about wordplay and intrigue; it is about spectacle, about formal visual set pieces, about cultural prestige offered by a theatre that could create these effects. So, there are the ten murders Revenge and murders: Also, it informs Antonio that his wife has been assassinated.

There should obviously be a desire for revenge. In the act where the Duchess, her children, and her maid are executed many devices are revengge by the author for the aim of creating horror which is a common taint of Senecan revenge tragedy. Newer Post Older Post Home. My points here are that you make very assertive comments when there is evidence within the play itself that contradicts your firm statements.

Some versions have the Duchess as a ghostly presence, physically standing on the stage to say the lines.

Here it is Ferdinand who becomes mad. The revengeful brothers are both villains.

Bosola can be termed as the protagonist as few critics also label him so as he is the one who avenges the wrong done to the duchess and according to the norm dies in the end thus restoring the peace.