"What have I to do with tombs, or death-beds, funerals, or tears, that have to meditate upon revenge?

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  • "What have I to do with tombs, or death-beds, funerals, or tears, that have to meditate upon revenge?
    • Analysis
      • TS Eliot argued that Webster is possessed with death. The way death is the motivation for revenge which leads to more death, supports this interpretation.
      • One of the few characters in the play that seeks revenge. (Fransisco) Showing that  The White Devil is a revenge tragedy.
      • Gothic presentation of death. Imagery of "tombs, or death-beds..." often associated with fear however Fransisco using these images as motivation. Reveals his determination to avenge his sisters death.
    • Exam Questions
      • It is said that The White Devil is Bloody and full of horror... Is the White Devil anything more than a horror story?
      • "Nothing more than a demonstration of imaginative variations on how to commit murder." How do you respond to this view of the play?
    • Linking White Devil quotes.
      • "Great men do great good or else great harm."
        • I have chosen this quote as it shows a change in Fransisco's personality. Fransisco is a duke so he is a great man. He is capable of protecting his people and doing great good however he chooses to seek vengeance on Brachiano and hence causing "great harm."
      • "T'have poisoned his prayer book."
        • This is the revenge acted by Fransisico and Lodovico on Brachiano. Hence shows the brutality of revenge and how it intertwines with the Gothic genre.
      • "Methinks this revenge is poor because it steals upon him like a theif."
        • Shows Fransisco's idea of revenge. He wants Brachiano to be aware of the reason for his death. Also show's Fransisco's power,
      • "Black book"
        • It is through this black book that Fransisco finds Lodovico to help him carry out his revenge. The "Black book" is a symbol of corruption within the Jacobean era.
    • Quotes from other texts.
      • The Bloody Chamber
        • "Like an extraordinarily precious slit throat"
        • "The countess wants fresh meat."
        • "She likes to hear it announce how it can not escape."
        • "Erl-king will do you grievous harm."
      • Frankenstein
        • "Men appear to me as monsters thirsting for each others blood."
        • "I abhorred the face of man."
        • "Horror and dismay."


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