However, he we want to consider The Duchess of Malfi as a Revenge Tragedy, we need to know what we mean by revenge tragedy and its major conventions. Duchess of Malfi Answer: The revenge play or revenge tragedy is a tragedy in which a murder victim is avenged, often by a younger kinsmen. ‘DUCHESS OF MALFI’ AS A REVENGE TRAGEDY | The main aim of this work is to point out series of revenge that occurs in the text and find.

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Restoration drama is not just about wordplay and intrigue; it is about spectacle, about formal visual set pieces, about cultural prestige offered by a theatre that could create these effects. This causes mental break which develops later to a horrible disease, lycanthropy.

The rake’s currency with the audience lessened with the change in the times, a new monarch, and changes in social and cultural values and mores. Also, it informs Antonio that his wife has been assassinated. That the weak revenge motives is clearly brought out by the fact that for more than two years her two brothers do nothing to punish the Duchess.

Hence their deeds of revenge are not a wild kind of justice but monstrous wrong. Webster also diverted from Senecan model in presenting the supernatural elements. The story should centre on characters of noble birth.

So, in a word we can say that it is a perfect revenge tragedy. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Thus, for the restoration women, increased awareness of and ability to talk about their respective situations does not translate into increased freedom to act.


The play holds the typical stereotype of a Jacobean Revenge Tragedy. This is probably because his goal is to have sex rather than to cuckold.


Apart from this, your article does have some valid points. If he has done so, on what basis do you conclude that it is a ‘true’ revenge tragedy?

There is absolutely nothing unrealistically supernatural in the play. This includes scenes of dark humour, such as when Ferdinand convinces the Duchess that Antonio is dead by giving what he says is Antonio’s severed hand, but is actually a wax figure. The character of the rake-hero revenye a product of Restoration society. The rake- hero is a descendant of earlier comedic male characters who were rogues, but he is a sign of the times in that during this period he supplanted the traditional romantic hero in many of the age’s theatrical productions.

He cannot accept the fact that his twin sister has a lover in secret.

“The Duchess of Malfi” as a Jacobean Revenge Tragedy

These theatrical effects were destined to make the most of the opportunities offered by the new theatres established after the Restoration. Order should be restored at the end of the play. By introducing the tone of moral justice at the end, Webster raises the original theme of revenge to a higher plane. While ‘Malfi’ is classified as a revenge tragedy, I do not think that it is wholly correct to place it firmly within the category. Overall interesting article but I do have some issues that I’d like to bring up.

Ducehss, the tragic protagonist dies in the fourth act. The name Revenge Tragedy arose from the Senecan tradition of making revenge the motive force for the action that leads to the tragedy. Hence, he can be seen as a tragic hero who get no satisfaction by taking part in the conspiracy against the duchess.


One of the features unique revebge Restoration comedy is the figure of the rake as romantic hero. While violence was a common part of plays in the English Renaissance, Webster’s are remarkable for the inventive and grotesque ways in which that violence is depicted.

Although Webster wrote this drama following the tradition of revenge tragedy, he has modified some of its revsnge to make it unique. But Webster sets his play in a different manner, the revenge and murders are committed in a different manner from the traditional manner. Taking revenge and murdering people are the integral part of revenge tragedy. Firstly, the tragic protagonist is a woman. The patient thinks that they are a wolf.

The characteristics of Revenge Tragedy are: Also, is lycanthropia not a supernatural condition? Within your article itself, you say that Webster has deviated from the formal structure of a revenge tragedy. The piteous sufferings of their victim from the hard heart of Bosola who says: Thayer does point out that Basola can be viewed as the protagonist. John WebsterThe Duchess of Malfi.

Her only fault is that she has married below her rank and status and thus the two brothers think, she has disgraced the family.