The Duchess of Malfi (New Mermaids) Paperback – 30 Apr 2001
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Audio Download, Original recording
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For some, John Webster is second only to Shakespeare... The Duchess of Malfi, is a superbly effective piece of theatre, mixing jolting shocks and pitch-black comedy with wonderful lines of ominous verse. --Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Student Text Guides are writtten by experienced teachers and examiners for the specific needs of students of AS/A-level English Literature, whether attempting a coursework assignment or revising for an examination. They are the perfect accompaniment to the set text, providing invaluable background and exam advice. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
With just a very, very short introduction it is effectively just the text of the script and nothing else: valuable for reading or a reference but not for study purposes. As with most plays it appears cluttered on a standard Kindle screen and would not be an ideal vehicle for learning lines if you were to be acting one of the parts.
School and university students: this is an edition full of useful notes and information and although irritatingly 'trendy' in parts it is the best current edition for you, as the footnotes are very extensive and the introduction has much that is useful.
Academics, researchers, specialists: a huge amount of work has of course gone into this edition and much of the work - indeed most of it - is useful and thorough. However, the negative aspects are so conspicuous that it is almost shocking that the edition was released without any publisher's final checking. I list below some observations about these faults, some of which are relatively minor and some egregious.
Style: a) LM indicates that writers were reserved about publicising their membership of livery companies (p4) but we have to wait for two pages to be told why;
b) appropriate formal style with sudden descents into bathos: Webster warns readers 'not to expect the play to conform to the classical rules ... because of his need to fit in to the scruffy venue of its performance.' (p7); the real duchess 'avoided the sexual profligacy that characterized the behaviour of some of her close relatives ... until she became front page news in Italy.' (p17)
c) LM draws our attention to 'the images of fragmentation and dismemberment [which] link up with contemporary issues like Protestant fear of engulfment by Catholicism ...' (p9) but then says nothing more about the matter.
d) LM frequently writes two paragraphs as one so that one finds oneself in the middle of the text suddenly being addressed about a completely new topic.Read more ›
Perfect for all those wonderful people who find murder, incest, power seeking, lust, mad men singing and blatant insults even mildly amusing.
Get used to the Jacobean speech, and this is one hell of a play. Read this one, and then find yourself some more Webster!!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, fast transaction. Product was as described. Very satisfied customer, thank you.Published 6 months ago by S. B. Sharp
Brand new book in excellent condition, very quick delivery, very pleased.Published 9 months ago by Carol Macdougall
This copy of the play is as it says - a thrift edition. The typeface is clear. Apart from one page of notes there is no more additional information about the play or its genesis.Published 9 months ago by Ralf Togneri