A Feminist perspective of The White Devil

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  • A Feminist criticism of The White Devil by John Webster
    • All female characters in the play are defined by men
      • Isabella is a dedicated wife and mother, she does not fail to be this even when Brachiano commits adultery
      • Cornelia goes mad due to the actions of men
      • Vittoria is defined by Camillo, Flamineo and Brachiano. She is manipulated for their own personal gain.
      • Zanche has a sexual relationship with Flamineo and attempts one with Mulinassar/Francisco
    • Female weakness is presented throughout the play
      • Isabella admits to having female weakness
      • Cornelia is driven man showing her weak diposition
      • Vittoria ends up in the house of convertites
    • Lack of female characters or female presence within the play
      • Vittoria appears six times
    • Does Vittoria challenge men's expectations or submit to them?
      • She challenges them in the Arraigment and through challenging Brachaino in the house of convertities
      • She follows the course of action that the male characters want from her.
      • Her happiness is defined by men
    • Misogyny is rife within the play
      • Flamineo "women are like cursed dogs"
      • Vittoria is seen as The White Devil
      • "Dramatised misogyny" - Kathleen McLuskie
    • "The drama from 1590 to 1625 is feminist in sympathy" - Juliet Dusinberre


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