The White Devil Criticism

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The White Devil, along with Webster's other great play The Duchess of Malfi, assures Webster of canonical status in Jacobean drama. The White Devil, however, has not always been well received by audiences and critics. Webster himself complained about the first staging of the play and its reception, blaming the weather, the venue, and the audience.

Nevertheless, the play continued to be performed throughout the seventeenth century with success. This was not the case in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when, Margaret Loftus Ranald notes in John Webster that there were no performances of the play at all.

The chaotic, bleak world of The White Devil appealed to audiences and critics alike in the twentieth century; over ten major productions were mounted, including one by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1996. Likewise, scholars who study the play have found much to write about in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries...

(read more from the Critical Overview section)

This section contains 515 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The White Devil Study Guide
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The White Devil from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.