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The Duchess of Malfi Summary
John Webster

Everything you need to understand or teach The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster.

  • The Duchess of Malfi Summary & Study Guide
  • 4 Student Essay
  • 1 Encyclopedia Article
  • 18 Literature Criticism
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  • 30 The Duchess of Malfi Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
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The Duchess of Malfi Summary

Plot Summary

In The Duchess of Malfi, a play by John Webster, friends Delio and Antonio are chatting. Antonio has returned from France, where he favored the honest courtiers. Unhappy, sinister Bosola receives gold coins from Duke Ferdinand to spy on the Duchess as the horse manager. Both Ferdinand and his brother, the Cardinal, instruct their sister not to remarry and she obliges. However, she secretly confides with her maid Cariola that she desires to remarry. She proceeds to secretly marry Antonio, her gallant steward.

Bosola gives the Duchess apricots. When she falls ill, Antonio uses the apricots to try to cover up her pregnancy. He announces that she was poisoned by the fruit. Antonio orders the house locked and everyone to their rooms due to a fictitious Swiss burglar who stole the Duchess’s jewels. She secretly gives birth to a baby boy. Ferdinand flies off the handle and...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Duchess of Malfi Study Pack contains about 558 pages of study material in 27 products, including:

The Duchess of Malfi Study Guide

Lesson Plan

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The Duchess of Malfi Lesson Plans contain 148 pages of teaching material, including:

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