White Devil Critics


A Levels English (A2 - Wife of Bath + White Devil) Mind Map on White Devil Critics, created by rlshindmarsh on 03/06/2014.
Mind Map by rlshindmarsh, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by rlshindmarsh almost 10 years ago

Resource summary

White Devil Critics
  1. Vittoria
    1. ‘As befits so multifaceted a character as [Vittoria], the responses evoked by this train of metaphors are tentative and complex, blending as they do a sense of her negative qualities (artifice, hardness, and surface glitter) with a feeling for the admirable features of her personality (glowing passion, radiant physical splendour, and gem-like inner strength)’ – John F Mc Elroy.
      1. ‘Vittoria’s character has been constructed by the assumptions and interpretations of the characters who surround her’ – Dr June Waudby
        1. ‘Vittoria’s character epitomises contrariety and paradox throughout the play’ – Dr June Waudby
          1. ‘[Vittoria] appropriates the masculine privilege of public voice’ – Dr June Waudby
            1. ‘one of the noticeable features of Webster’s heroines is that they never address the audience directly’ - Kate Aughterson
              1. ‘The lack of soliloquies is not a hindrance to characterization, but illustrates how Webster constructs character through dramatic action’ – Kate Aughterson
                1. Vittoria as a ‘dialectical counterforce to all those black and despairing elements in the play which achieve their focus in Flamineo.’ Layman
                  1. Her speeches ‘illustrate a strength and nobility of character which is actually enhanced by her own knowledge of her past wrong doing’ - Kate Aughterson
                    1. ‘[Vittoria] constructs herself indirectly as a martyr’ - Kate Aughterson
                    2. Flamineo
                      1. ‘None of the other characters present the illusion of psychological depth to the extent that Flamineo does’ Andrew Strycharski
                        1. ‘a fantasy of control’ Andrew Strycharski
                          1. ‘In violently protecting his sister’s social standing, Flamineo simultaneously seeks to protect his own.’ Andrew Strycharski
                            1. ‘halting between his inherited and his individual values’ John Russell Brown
                              1. ‘Mephistophelean entrepreneur’ Layman
                              2. Form/Structure
                                1. On Webster’s plays ‘They are not constructed plays, but loose-strung, go-as-you-please romances in dialogue.’ J M Symmonds
                                  1. ‘The escape of Francisco, the play’s most cold-blooded egoist, is a thumb in the eye of peoptic justice Andrew Strycharski
                                    1. ‘Webster wrote a mongrel drama ... although he borrowed from others, few borrowed so widely as he’ John Russell Brown
                                      1. ‘The situation remains almost the same at the end of it as it was at the beginning’ John Russell Brown
                                      2. Gender/Misogyny
                                        1. ‘The commodification of women is institutionalised’ – Dr June Waudby
                                        2. Morality
                                          1. ‘Aside from the broad assumption that life is hell, there is nothing resembling a coherent moral attitude in the play ...Anything can mean as much or as little in The White Devil as anything else.’ Arthur C Kirsch
                                            1. All ‘humane intuition’ is ‘distorted by a malignant social ethos’ Andrew Strycharski
                                              1. ‘The text criticises the Jacobean era yet cannot be considered to be separate from it’ Liam McNamara
                                                1. ‘Webster heightens the desolateness of his world by making his few decent persons…completely ineffectual in their struggle against evil. Their virtues…hold no rewards, worldly or otherwise’ Layman
                                                2. Religion
                                                  1. The ritual inversions of the play ‘dramatically, though metaphorically, the inverted, evil-oriented nature of the society of the play’ James Hurt
                                                  2. Power
                                                    1. Attempts to ‘exorcise’ Machiavellian thought through its various ‘travesties’, but ‘his desperate perceptions lingered in the air, together with an oppressive and occasionally hallucinatory sense of their validity’ Layman
                                                    2. Appearance/Reality
                                                      1. ‘Webster uses duplication ... to emphasise and restate the theme of duality’ Susan H Mc Leod
                                                        1. ‘Rhetorical devices [such as subjunctio] dissemblance and false-seeming in the action’ – Susan H Mc Leod
                                                          1. The trial is designed to ‘erase the difference between “truth” and “opinion”’ Layman
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