Key themes in The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster

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  • Key themes in the Duchess of Malfi
    • Disguise
      • Bosola - what he says and his actions are very different
        • he's a spy - as part of his job he has to lie/ be in diguise
          • in the fourth act he also disguises himself as an old man,
      • The Duchess  says from the very beginning of the play that she will never re-marry but even before the scene closes she has proposed! - she has disguised her true feelings here.
    • Corruption
      • The Cardinal and Ferdinand are corrupted in their soul
    • Cruelty
      • Ferdinand and The Cardinal are very cruel towards the Duchess
      • They make use of the wax figurines to make her believe that Antonio is dead.

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