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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In real life, the guilty parties were never brought to any justice. My points here are that you make very assertive comments when there is evidence within the play itself that contradicts your firm statements.

“The Duchess of Malfi” as a Jacobean Revenge Tragedy

traedy There should obviously be a desire for revenge hence the term “revenge tragedy. But unlike Horner, he doesn’t practice deceit to reveal it. The piteous sufferings of their victim from the hard heart of Bosola who says: Bosola plans to save Antonio, who had escaped, and punish the brothers, but he mistakenly kills Antonio instead.

This acknowledgment of normal female sexual desire on the part of the playwrights indicates a shift from ideas found in earlier dramas of the century, that female expressions of sexual appetite automatically made a woman a whore.

We can’t find JavaScript: They also echo the male heroes in their desires for freedom and self-expression which may be linked to the growing popularity of middle-class values. Bosola then attacks the Cardinal, but is himself attacked by Ferdinand. He had threatened to use in the play’s first scene: Help Center Find new research papers in: Witty repartee is often operative in these plays, used as a device to ridicule and reveal the flaws of others as well as an aid in attaining one’s own goals.


John Webster’s ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ is a dark and bloody tragedy that deals with issues of political corruption, class conflict, and gender and is considered one of the great plays of the English Renaissance. Ferdinand, from the very beginning, employs Bosola as a spy in return for some gold coins.

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

For one, the protagonist is supposed to die in the 5th act of the play; trageedy, the Duchess dies in the 4th act. Brutal human impulses is the essential subject matter and it turns into complex, often deeply thought provoking aesthetic experiences.

The narrative should involve in complex plotting. John WebsterThe Duchess of Malfi.

Order should be restored at the end of the play. The Duke advices the scheme to torture the Duchess with the intention of turning her mad.

Her only fault is that she has married below her rank and status and thus the two brothers think, she has disgraced ducness family.

You’ve just said that it doesn’t follow a revenge tragedy! There should be Italianate or Southern European settings. In this a shocking murder takes place and it cries out for their revenge. The revenge tragedy has a hero whose honour has been wronged; in this play, the brothers seek revenge on the Duchess, who has done them no harm. This play is considered as one of the best plays of Webster and as a Revenge Tragedy, it is considered as the best tragedy after Tragey containing almost all the characteristics of Revenge Tragedy.


Revenge runs throughout The Duchess of Malfi. Helena declares to her sister that she has a healthy sexual appetite and curiosity.

The narrative should incorporate ghosts, skulls and madness. The spectacle of waxen images of the dead bodies of Antonio and children presented before the Duchess is another horrid scene.

The rake-hero exhibits a number of attitudes and characteristics such as being unmarried, cynical, and coarse but with the manners of a gentleman, vuchess, manipulative, and self-serving.

However melodramatic episodes are seen earlier too. Ferdinand ss her the command. While ‘Malfi’ is classified as a revenge tragedy, I do not think that it is wholly correct to place it firmly within the category.

Werewolves, speaking in a modern day sense, are not a common occurrence. From the beginning to the end of this drama, there are a lot of elements of horrors.