The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster Basics

  • Created by: AJ2004
  • Created on: 02-05-20 18:44
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  • The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
    • Key Events
      • Ferdinand tricks the Duchess into thinking that her family is dead using wax models. This leads her to consider suicide.
      • The Duchess marries Antonio secretly.
      • Ferdinand orders Bosola to kill the Duchess. He strangles her but she shows no fear and does not beg for her life.
      • The Cardinal confesses to his hand in the Duchess' and her children's death to his mistress, Julia. He kills her with a poisoned bible.
      • Cardinal tells Bosola to kill Antonio.
      • Bosola suspects the Duchess is pregnant so he feeds her apricots which induced her labour.
      • Ferdinand goes insane. It is said that he believes himself to be a wolf.
      • Ferdinand tells the Duchess to kill herself.
      • Cardinal plans on killing Bosola after he had disposed of Julia's body for him but Bosola overhears him.
      • Antonio loses his child's horoscope which is picked up by Bosola.
      • Bosola accidently kills Antonio. He then kills the Cardinal. Ferdinand fights Bosola and they end up killing each other.
    • Characters
      • Delio
      • Roderigo
      • Bosola
      • Antonio
      • Cardinal
      • Ferdinand
      • Grisolan
      • Castruccio
      • Julia
      • Duchess
      • Silvio
      • Cariola
      • Old Lady
      • Malatesti
      • Pescara
      • Doctor
      • Echo
    • Story Line
      • Ferdinand and Cardinal kill the Duchess and the two younger children.
        • Bosola feels guilty for betraying the Duchess and decides that he will seek revenge for the Duchess.
      • The duchess has two more children with Antonio.
      • The duchess of Malfi tells the story of a young widow (a duchess) who falls in love with her steward, Antonio.
        • Her brothers, Ferdinand and Cardinal, did not want her to remarry and made her promise that she would remain a widow. She agrees, but her brothers do not trust her so they hire a servant, Bosola, to spy on her.
      • While her brothers were away in Rome, the Duchess and Antonio get married in secret.
        • Bosola suspects the Duchess is pregnant and gives her apricots whihch were believed to induces labour. Shortly after eating them, she gives birth to a son.
          • Antonio writes his newborn son a horoscope but loses it. Bosola finds the horoscope and tells the Duchess' brothers who are furious at the news.
      • The Duchess and Antonio attempt to run away but only Antonio and the eldest son escape.
      • The Cardinal confesses to his mistress, Julia, but kills her so she cannot reveal his secret.
      • Bosola kills Antonio due to believing him to be the Cardinal.
        • Bosola eventually kills the cardinal and Ferdinand appears in a crazed state. He and Bosola fight and kill each other.
      • With all his family dead, the eldest son of the duchess and Antonio takes place as heir to the Malfi fortune.
    • Main Themes
      • Corruption
      • Deception
      • Death
      • Religion/sin
      • Reputation


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