The Duchess of Malfi | Critical Essay by Dympna Callaghan

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of The Duchess of Malfi.
This section contains 2,751 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Dympna Callaghan

SOURCE: Callaghan, Dympna. “A Monstrous Desire.” In Women and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy: A Study of King Lear, Othello, The Duchess of Malfi, and The White Devil, pp. 140-47. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press International, 1989.

In the following essay, Callaghan argues that female sexual desire, and perhaps even femininity, is always depicted as monstrous in Renaissance tragedy. In addition to the Duchess, Callaghan discusses Desdemona from Othello, Cordelia from King Lear, and Vittoria from Webster's The White Devil.

Desire is inscribed at every level (social, economic, political, sexual) as the motivation for change, upheaval, disruption, and crucially, for female tragic transgression. It is a force of disorder in terms of both conceptual and social systems. Importantly, defining the category of woman in terms of desire is a Renaissance preoccupation, and yet, paradoxically it is one...

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This section contains 2,751 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Dympna Callaghan
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