(Streetcar/Duchess) Secrecy

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 12-03-19 09:17
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  • Secrecy
    • Malfi
      • Status
        • 'you were too much i'th'light'
          • Virtue is often described in this period as that which 'shines forth'
          • The Duchess' name is never mentioned, suggesting her title/ publicity defines her
          • Duchess is virtuous and yet not associated with virginity
            • Widows believed to be dangerous and sexual predators
            • Leggatt believes in the Duchess' 'variety and vitality of her nature as a whole.'
        • 'diamonds are of most value, they say, that have passed through most jeweller's hands'
          • 'Jeweller's hands' - moulded into a 'feminine ideal' OR her virtue is improved with sexual experience
            • Defined by materialism and wealth. (Webster fails to give her a name - a prize to be won)
          • 'I winked and chose a husband'
            • 'winked' creates a flirtatious effect + shows her autonomous personality
              • 'Hysteria' is derived from the Latin word 'Hyster' meaning 'womb'
              • Highborn 'Renaissance marriages' were practical matters and used for alliances
        • 'cover her face...mine eyes dazzle'
          • Elizabethan belief that when one twin dies the other's soul does as well
            • Eyes are typically seen as 'windows to the soul'
            • In this moment, Ferdinand distances himself from his sister (her goodness exposed his darkness)
      • Corruption
        • 'I have this night digged up a mandrake'
          • Aphrodisiac + poison (once uprooted it drives someone insane)
            • In unearthing his sister's secrets he reveals his own incestuous feelings
              • Elizabeth & Parker reinforced the rules of the Leviticus in 1563
          • Repetitive use of nighttime/ darkness, creates a superstitious effect
          • ForeshadowsFerdinand's lycanthropia (creates devilish/ beastial effect)
            • Ferdinand gave in to his baser instincts of 'ambition blood or lust'
              • Mental illness was associated with lack of morals (possessed by the Devil)
                • TS Eliot: Webster always saw the 'skull beneath the skin'
                  • Webster uses this play to reflect the secrecy & corruption of the English court
        • 'cover her face...mine eyes dazzle'
          • Elizabethan belief that when one twin dies the other's soul does as well
            • Eyes are typically seen as 'windows to the soul'
            • In this moment, Ferdinand distances himself from his sister (her goodness exposed his darkness)
    • Streetcar
      • The Bath Motif
        • 'I think I will bathe...my nerves are in knots'
          • 'knots' also represent dilemmas, suggesting Blanche is a problem
            • Symbolism of 'knot' represents promises & vows, such as Blanche's marriage
          • Widows believed to be dangerous and sexual predators
          • Williams: 'destructive power of society on the sensitive non-conformist individual'
        • 'peels of laughter are heard as if a child were frolicking in the tub'
          • The homophone 'peels' suggests Blanche is ********* away her sins as well as reality
            • Reminiscent of Lady Macbeth, who is stained by her sins (seeking purity)
          • Child-like image suggests she is seeking rejuvenation as if the bath was a 'fountain of youth'
          • Blanche wants to wash away/forget everything, and is in turn forgotten
            • Williams' sister was admitted to an insane asylum and subject to a lobotomy
      • Southern Belle
        • 'sunken treasures'/ 'treasure chest of a pirate!'
          • After the Civil War, Southern wealth melted away as slave labour was abolished by Lincoln in 1863
            • Shawn Alff describes the play as a 'heathens paradise'
              • The American Dream
              • Stanley benefits from the patriarchy just as Blanche benefitted from slavery
          • Stanley is digging up Blanche's past. 'treasures' suggests he delights in her downfall
            • Suggests Blanche's past prosperity opposes Stanley's socialist view
          • 'Rhinestone Tiara'
            • Juxtaposition of cheapness with a royal symbol creates an affected effect
            • Ironic image - wants to be seen as a 'queen' of high society
              • Patriarchal/ social opinions would view her as of the lowest class, no better than a prostitute

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