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The Duchess of Malfi (English Edition)
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The Duchess of Malfi (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

John Webster

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Book Description

Edited by Fred B. Millett, this edition of The Duchess of Malfi for performance and study is based on the 1623 first edition and includes an introduction that discusses the publication of the play, its sources, and its dramatic strengths and weaknesses. Also included are a list of principal dates in the life of John Webster and a bibliography.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 177 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 96 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004TS9P1E
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A superb play 25 mai 2001
Par Joost Daalder - Publié sur
Of the "popular" editions of this play that by John Russell Brown (Revels Student Editions) and Elizabeth Brennan (New Mermaids) are both useful, though it must be said that no edition as yet does adequate justice to Webster's compexity - notably his presentation of Ferdinand. The play is both a tour de force and profoundly searching. It is perhaps the first major feminist play in England, with the Duchess presented as an outstandingly noble even if fallible character, the victim of her two evil "partriarchal" brothers. Of these, her twin brother Ferdinand is among the most intelligently conceived characters to appear on the Jacobean stage. Unknowingly (i.e. in his "unconscious") he is incestuously in love with his sister. Unable to cope with this "taboo" feeling, he tries to "repress" it unsuccessfully, and finally his ... "libido" comes to express itself in a violent wish to destroy her if he cannot ... own her, and he ends up believing himself to be a wolf, attempting to dig up her grave after he has had her killed. Obviously, then, this is a very Freudian work - anticipating Freud's insights brilliantly by some four centuries, and without lapsing into Freud's extravagantly improbable claims about such matters as the Oedipus complex. It is the working of the unconcious, as a reservoir of what we do not understand and cannot control, which is quite central in this play, and Ferdinand's ... confusion is potently contrasted with his sister's openminded, acknowledged and generous ... health. An outstanding play, recommended as among the best of its time (comparable in quality and interest to e.g. *Othello* or *The Changeling*). - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University, South Australia
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A violent psychosexual play 12 octobre 2002
Par Michael J. Mazza - Publié sur
John Webster's play "The Duchess of Malfi" is a violent play that presents a dark, disturbing portrait of the human condition. According to the introductory note in the Dover edition, the play was first presented in 1613 or 1614.
The title character is a widow with two brothers: Ferdinand and the Cardinal. In the play's opening act, the brothers try to persuade their sister not to seek a new husband. Her resistance to their wishes sets in motion a chain of secrecy, plotting, and violence.
The relationship between Ferdinand and the Duchess is probably one of the most unsettling brother-sister relationships in literature. The play is full of both onstage killings and great lines. The title character is one of stage history's intriguing female characters; she is a woman whose desires lead her to defy familial pressure. Another fascinating and complex character is Bosola, who early in the play is enlisted to act as a spy. Overall, a compelling and well-written tragedy.
6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Bloody, Gory, and Beautiful 25 octobre 2000
Par Sean Ares Hirsch - Publié sur
I do not feel Webster's "Duchess of Malfi" quite matches his "The White Devil." Nevertheless, it is still an excellent play. Only Webster could combine this much violence and beauty so well! Webster starts the play well when Antonio and Delio make comments on questionable characters. (Bosola and the Cardinal) Bosola is drawn well as the hired hand reluctant to join the demonic Ferdinand. 2.5 is captivating when Ferdinand explodes with fury upon discovering that the Duchess has married. The cardinal shows an interesting foil to Ferdinand when he tries to encourage caution. The fury exchanged between Ferdinand and the Duchess in 3.2 is memorable. Bosola offers a striking passage on politicians in 3.2. The tragic ceremony in 3.4 is sorrowful and yet beautiful. The parting of Antonio and the Duchess in 3.5 is very lamentable. 4.1 allows us to see that Ferdinand is not only evil, but demented as well. This paves the way for his final insanity. Bosola's hesitation to carry out the murder is well constructed. Ferdinand's final torture of the Duchess reminds us that he is not simply cruel, but psychotic as well. The Duchess is memorable when she faces her death with dignity. Webster DOES NOT stop here! Ferdinand actually taunts the hired killer and this paves the way for the final act. 5.3 is a scene that not even Marlowe or Shakespeare ever used. Fragments of Antonio's own echo foreshadow his death. Bosola's accidental murder of Antonio and his remorse pave the way for the final massacre! Even here, Webster keeps his efforts up. The cardinal's passage on fear of damnation keeps us in chills. Bosola's death and passage of remorse is a fitting end for this excellent work. My only complaint about this play is that the Cardinal could have been more complex.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lycanthropic melancholy 29 avril 2014
Par christopher - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
"...One met the duke 'bout midnight in a lane
Behind Saint Mark's church, with the leg of a man
Upon his shoulder; and he howl'd fearfully;
Said he was a wolf, only the difference
Was, a wolf's skin was hairy on the outside,
His on the inside; bade them take their swords,
Rip up his flesh, and try."

The Duchess of Malfi is John Webster's masterpiece, and justly renowned as the Jacobean drama par excellence. A young widow, rich and beautiful, secretly marries her steward, against the wishes of her brothers, a cardinal and a judge, who have insinuated Bosola, a convicted murderer, into her household as "intelligencer." One brother, Ferdinand, is insanely jealous of his sister:

"CARDINAL. __ __ __ Shall our blood,
The royal blood of Arragon and Castile,
Be thus attainted?
FERDINAND. __ __ Apply desperate physic:
We must not now use balsamum, but fire,
The smarting cupping-glass, for that 's the mean
To purge infected blood, such blood as hers.
There is a kind of pity in mine eye,--
I 'll give it to my handkercher; and now 'tis here,
I 'll bequeath this to her bastard.
CARDINAL. __ __ __What to do?
FERDINAND. Why, to make soft lint for his mother's wounds,
When I have hew'd her to pieces... "

Unlike the Kindle edition of The White Devil, this edition has some notes and glosses. Coming as they do at the end, they seem like crossword clues without a crossword:

<5> At the expense of. <6> Rolls of lint used to dress wounds. <7> Surgeons. <8> A small horse. <9> Ballasted. <10> A lively dance. <11> Throws into the shade. <12> At the point of. <13> Coaches. <14> Spy. <15> Cheats. <16> Spy. <17> Malfi. Gallery in the Duchess' palace. <18> Lustful. <19> Genesis xxxi., 31-42. <20> The net in which he caught Venus and Mars. <21> Housekeepers. <22> Produced. <23> Qq. read STRANGE. <24> Guess. <25> The phrase used to indicate that accounts had been examined and found correct. <26> Using words of present time; i.e., "I take," not "I will take."

To use the notes, one would have to go to the end of the book, page back to the beginning of the notes, bookmark that location, and then jump to the bookmarked location when needed. Proof that Project Gutenberg started aeons ago.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Literary Rulebreaker 13 octobre 2000
Par Dr J. Evans Pritchard - Publié sur
It quite simply isn't allowed! John Webster has written a play that takes all of the conventions of the Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy, and then promptly dispenses with them. For this reason alone, it is worth reading The Duchess of Malfi - simply to see a warped formula that works exceptionally well.
The play is slightly marred by Webster's wooden stage craft, but thankfully the originality of the story compensates for some stilted dialogue and awkward devices. For its time, Malfi was a sensational play - truly gruesome and bloody, with its special effects making it a Jacobean Hollywood Blockbuster.
The characters are perhaps the greatest success of this play. Webster's Ferdinand is vile, his Duchess is fiesty, yet at times she commits acts that condemn her to not being dubbed a "heroine", such as her fake pilgrimage. Antonio, the principle male "good guy" is so outrageously stupid that one has to hate him for being wetter than a Thomas Hardy novel. In fact, the microcosm of the play is almost without virtue, save for Pescara (an interesting play on 'piscari' - the Latin for fish, the Christian symbol). Finally, the play pivots on the role of Bosola, who is neither anti-hero, villain, hero or anything else for that matter. He is a fabulous and intelligent malcontent: the Macciavel personified.
Ultimately, if you are bored of reading the same formula within a tragedy, pick up the Duchess of Malfi and blow off the dust from the front cover. It is an often overlooked play, though its author has written a piece of theatre that is so strange and so difficult to perform that it is still largely snubbed by theatre companies today. By destroying the conventions of the tragedy to the extent that the end result arguably isn't a tragic play at all, Webster has written a play that is as important to the development of the modern tragedy as those which rigidly stick to the formulae.
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