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Duchess of Malfi: Deconstructing the play: Track 1

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Does the Duchess of Malfi have any resonance with modern-day audiences? Are it’s themes of politics and revenge still relevant today? Since it was originally published in the seventeenth century the play has been interpreted in a variety of ways, each different director examining the story and realising a unique translation of the work. In 2010 the Greenwich Theatre performed The Duchess of Malfi and in this collection we follow the cast and crew as they analyse the language used by John Webster, as well as exploring different ways of understanding the text and converting his words into a performance.

This material forms part of The Open University course A230 Reading and studying literature.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

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Track 1: The Duchess of Malfi

A brief introduction to the play.

© The Open University 2011

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 The Duchess of Malfi    A brief introduction to the play. Play now The Duchess of Malfi
2 Understanding Webster’s text    The cast discuss examine what the language means and why Webster chose to use those particular words. Play now Understanding Webster’s text
3 Interpreting Webster’s text for the stage    An exploration of the different ways the text can be deciphered and translated for performance. Play now Interpreting Webster’s text for the stage
4 Anatomy of a scene    During a workshop day the actors are given the opportunity to work on different interpretations of a scene. Play now Anatomy of a scene
5 Bosolo    During the course of the play the importance of Bosolo’s character increases. Play now Bosolo




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