The Duchess of Malfi | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Jacqueline Pearson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 18 pages of analysis & critique of The Duchess of Malfi.
This section contains 5,204 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Jacqueline Pearson

SOURCE: Pearson, Jacqueline. “‘To Behold My Tragedy’: Tragedy and Anti-Tragedy in The Duchess of Malfi.” In Tragedy and Tragicomedy in the Plays of John Webster, pp. 84-95. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1980.

In the essay below, Pearson maintains that while the first four acts of The Duchess of Malfi are clearly a tragedy, the structure of the play fragments in the final act, with notes of satire and tragicomedy. The mixture does not work, she argues, to blend those elements, but rather to distinguish true tragedy from other forms of experience.

The failure of The White Devil in 1612 seems to have caused Webster to re-evaluate his own view of tragedy and its relationship with other dramatic genres. Certain methods of construction remain, clashing tones, the use of satirical commentary and ironic repetition, but differences between the...

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This section contains 5,204 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jacqueline Pearson