The Duchess of Malfi | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Dena Goldberg

This literature criticism consists of approximately 20 pages of analysis & critique of The Duchess of Malfi.
This section contains 5,720 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Dena Goldberg

Critical Essay by Dena Goldberg

SOURCE: Goldberg, Dena. “The Duchess of Malfi, the Royal Prerogative, and the Puritan Conscience.” In Between Worlds: A Study of the Plays of John Webster, pp. 100-12. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1987.

In the essay below, Goldberg discusses the political and intellectual context of The Duchess of Malfi, noting contemporary discussions of absolutism, the rule of James I, and individualism. Goldberg suggests that Webster was writing in opposition to the dominant worldview of the period.

Webster's challenge to the rationalistic, hierarchic view of humanity that was a keystone of orthodox Renaissance philosophy is even more trenchant in The Duchess of Malfi than it had been in The White Devil. As I have pointed out, the “reason” the Cardinal talks about is only a tool of statecraft. And Ferdinand's...

(read more)

This section contains 5,720 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Dena Goldberg