The Duchess of Malfi | Critical Essay by Clifford Leech

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of The Duchess of Malfi.
This section contains 8,181 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Clifford Leech

Critical Essay by Clifford Leech

SOURCE: "Webster as a Dramatic Poet," in John Webster: A Critical Study, The Hogarth Press, 1951, pp. 90-119.

In the following excerpt, Leech examines how the behavioral inconsistencies and motivational inadequacies of Webster's characters appear to adversely affect "the scene-unit and …momentary dramatic effect" of the dramatist's collaborative efforts. The critic contrasts Webster's later works with the more consistent composition of The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil and concludes that although uneven, his "unequal masterpieces" are redeemed in performance.

In A Cure for a Cuckold, written about 1625, Webster presents us with a strange piece of motivation. The play opens with the wedding of Bonvile and Annabel, but the first characters we meet are Lessingham and Clare. Lessingham has long loved Clare, though his wooing has been without reward. Now he presses her to be kinder, and she promises...

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This section contains 8,181 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Clifford Leech
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