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The White Devil Summary
John Webster

Everything you need to understand or teach The White Devil by John Webster.

  • The White Devil Summary & Study Guide
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The White Devil Summary


John Webster's The White Devil is a story of passion and revenge. Written and first performed in 1612, The White Devil is loosely based on a sensational event that happened in Italy some thirty years earlier: the murder of historical Vittoria Accoramboni in Padua, on December 22, 1585. Webster apparently used one or more chronicles of the event for his plot line, his settings, and his characters. According to John Russell Brown, however, Webster had to be very careful as he retold this story. Webster's interest was not so much in the historical accuracy of his retelling, but rather in the way this story could "[depict] the political and moral state of England in his own day."

Although The White Devil is an example of the revenge tragedy genre, a popular Jacobean form of drama, Webster's design and purpose in the play are not always clear. Many critics contend that this is...

(read more from the Study Guide)

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The The White Devil Study Pack contains about 56 pages of study material in 5 products, including:

The White Devil Study Guide

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