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John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

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This free course, John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi, concentrates on Acts 1 and 2 of John Webster's Renaissance tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi. It focuses on the representation of marriage for love and the social conflicts to which it gives rise. The course is designed to hone your skills of textual analysis.

After studying this course you should be able to:

  • understand the treatment of the themes of love and death in Acts 1 and 2 of John Webster’s play The Duchess of Malfi
  • examine other related themes and concerns of Acts 1 and 2
  • carry out textual analysis
  • recognise some of the historical contexts of the play.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 12 hours
  • Updated Monday 14th December 2015
  • Intermediate level
  • Posted under Literature
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John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

Introduction

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This course, on the first two acts of John Webster’s Renaissance tragedy The Duchess of Malfi, focuses on the representation of the theme of love and marriage in the Malfi court, and the social conflicts to which it gives rise. The course guides you through the first part of the play and will help you to develop your skills of textual analysis.

This course focuses mainly on Acts 1 and 2 of the play. You should make sure that you have read these two acts of the play before you read the course.

The edition of the play that is used in this course is the Pearson Longman (2009) edition, edited by Monica Kendall. However, there are free versions available online that you may prefer to use.

This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A230 : Reading and studying literature [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . It can also be found in the publication Anita Pacheco and David Johnson (eds) (2012) The Renaissance and Long Eighteenth Century, published by The Open University and Bloomsbury Academic.

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