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The Duchess of Malfi (Revel plays) Unknown Binding – 1 Jan 1964

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen (1964)
  • ASIN: B0000CMFN9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,242,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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 the Paperback edition.

Book Description

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.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Presumably most readers of this edition will be like myself - someone who knows the play and wanted a copy of it. I love it but can understand those who don't: hence the only reason for my review is to let potential users know about its Kindle presentation.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a review of the scholarly textual apparatus of the Arden edition of the play edited by Ms. Leah Marcus. It is not a review of the play itself.

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.
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Format: Paperback
As a teenager English Literature is one of the most mind-numbing subjects to study - or so I thought until I was introduced to this book. Despite being written in a completely different period, each character would fit in perfectly with the world today, and has far more twists than any soap-opera or sit-com.
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!!!!!
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By A Customer on 20 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Written by one of Shakespeare's contemporaries, many might recognize John Webster as the rat loving boy in "Shakespeare in Love". His strange fascination with taboo subjects comes to the forefront in this play, incest, murder, the character of Bosola seemingly unable to identify where his loyaltyies lie, the Duchess herself under the strain of being a good ruler when all she wants to do is live as she wants. More gutsy one might say than Shakespeare's plays - with the exception of Titus perhaps - and certainly the issues within are still relevant in this day and age. And many still controversial. Webster may not have received the commercial success of Shakespeare, but he certainly deserves some sort of cult status, a sort of Jacobean Martin Scorsese - refusing to accept the conventions of how a revenge tragedy shoud go - killing off the main part an act before the finish, having a murderous assassin with a conscience - and exploring what he wanted to. And not necessarily what the public wanted to see.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For my degree i had to read Othello and the Duchess of Malfi and much to my disappointment the assignment was on Othello and not this play! i think this text is 100x better than Shakespeares work of male chauvinism and pathetic female characters, Webster creates a female lead to be proud of you tries to own her own independence and pushes to control her own life - now that’s girl power!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a classic among classics,with its depiction of lust,treachery and revenge.This is most definitely Websters greatest work.a must read.
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Format: Paperback
Clear layout with interesting insights from previous performances. It did feel a little as though it was being sponsored by one or two of them however, they were referenced so frequently.
Also, there was a distinct lack of information on the play's original performance, which most copies do have.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my A230 Open University module. Good notes included.
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