The White Devil

The White Devil
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That is the only writing.


WILL backs away, unnerved by the boy. What do scholars think about this play?

Is there any controversy surrounding the work? Not really. What characters should I especially look for?

The White Devil RSC - 1996

See 4 above. Webster has made him one of those master politicians — a Medici — who work best behind the scenes, sometimes quite literally. What scene should I especially look for? The White Devil.

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Discover More Stuff that Happens Stuff that happens during the play Count Lodovico discovers that he has been banished from Italy for murder. He vows to revenge himself on his enemies, particularly the hypocritical Duke of Brachiano. His friends, Antonelli and Gasparo, vow to get the banishment revoked. Flamineo teases him for his jealousy and promises to make amends between husband and wife.

After Camillo goes to bed, Brachiano and Vittoria meet and profess their love for one another. Vittoria tells Brachiano of a portent dream she had, and they make plans to kill their respective spouses so that they can be together. Cornelia makes herself known, and berates her children and Brachiano for their sins. The Duke and his friend, Cardinal Monticelso, accuse Brachiano of infidelity with Vittoria, and urge him to change his ways for the sake of his son, Giovanni.

John Webster's 1612 revenge tragedy gets an off-Broadway revival.

The White Devil is a tragedy by English playwright John Webster (c – c. ). According to Webster's own preface to the Quarto Edition, "To the. The White Devil, tragedy in five acts by John Webster, performed and published as The White Divel in The White Devil centres on the love affair between the duke of Brachiano and Vittoria Corombona, two of the play’s many unscrupulous characters. In The White Devil both evil.

Brachiano meets with Isabella, who attempts to make amends with him. The Duke gives him a commission to go fight pirates on the coast, while the other men promise watch over his wife during his absence from Rome.

The White Devil

As Vittoria's mother, Cornelia, Socorro Santiago gives a sympathetic performance as the only redeemable character in this play — so naturally, she goes insane and starts handing out flowers in a scene uncannily reminiscent of Ophelia's mad scene in Hamlet. Webster knew how to write a baddie, but unlike Shakespeare, he leaves us no one to root for. Birnbaum and Oreskes both deliver passionate and grotesque performances as the unlovable lovers at the heart of this tale.

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Of the cast, Derek Smith as both Camillo and the debauched Count Lodovico comes the closest to the kind of heightened portrayal this script calls for, seeming to derive sexual pleasure from revolting acts of violence. Proske's staging deploys multiple blood packets, but it still feels sparing.

The fight direction by Rick and Christian Kelly-Sordelet is sufficient, but not as jaw-droppingly inventive as it could be. Kate Noll has made good use of the thrust stage an exciting modification of the Lortel , while her upstage structure of glass panels and mini-blinds establishes the contemporary setting from the moment we enter. Jiyoun Chang's multicolored LED lights lend an element of trash to the proceedings, as do Chad Raines's melodramatic sound cues. It made me wonder if The White Devil might work better as a movie. Of all the design elements, Beth Goldenberg's smartly selected costumes offer the most insight into the story: Vittoria's strappy low-cut dress makes her look like a reality TV housewife that moonlights as a dominatrix, while Brachiano's flamboyant shirt and leather jacket scream "midlife crisis.


A feminist reading of The White Devil would highlight the plight of Vittoria, who is sent to a "house of penitent whores" for her crimes, while her brother and lover escape scot-free for a time. Webster effectively captures the way women are held to a higher standard than men, but he also shows how it is possible for Vittoria to hide her very bad behavior behind the unequal treatment of her sex.

The cry of "misogyny" by powerful and unscrupulous women certainly helps explain the toxic male backlash in our own time, and it might have had something to do with the decay of English society in the half-century following the reign of Elizabeth.