John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi


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.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus