• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With close reference to the representation of female characters in the first three chapters of the White Devil write about the representation of women.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With close reference to the representation of female characters in the first three chapters of the White Devil write about the representation of women. John Webster writes of three Female characters in his play 'The White Devil;' Isabella, Vittoria and Cornelia, only one of which playing a major role. This character weighting may be an initial clue to the under representation of women in the play which is dominated by male characters. Vittoria Corobona represents a strong lustful character, who uses her sexuality to persuade other characters. She is shown to break the stereotype of a 'mistress' and stands on her own two feet giving an impression of a strong wilful character, which would only have been found in male characters at the time. However it may be questionable as to her strength as a character, as she is manipulated into having an affair which she may not have thought otherwise about. We can gain great insight into the representation of her character through the words and actions of the male characters. ...read more.

Middle

Vittoria's comeback is cleverly planned, and strengthen's her female role, she claimes that this asset 'takes away their credit,' implying that there is more to women than their physical apppearence. Vittoria's dream provides a clue to us about Webster's portrayal of Women. Vittoria characterises Isabella (wife of Brachiano) as an evil being, attempting to unearth a tree, causing her great terror in this insight, 'yet and for all this terror...' (I, ii 247) Here Vittoria's character may be seen as gullable, pre-conceiving an jealousy of her husband and the wife of Brachiano. Brachiano's interpretation of the dream reveals a male dominance placing himself as the protector, 'you are lodged within his arms who shall protect you..' Cornelia shows characteristics of a more civil, traditional female. She is disheartened by the prospect of Vittoria's affair, 'O tho dost make my brow bend to the earth sooner than nature.' She is disgraced by what her daughter has done to her reputation, and believes that Women should stay faithful and proppper. Her power of speech is dominating, and she shows control over the situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act II scene ii Webster writes of a dumb show in which a painting of Brachiano is coated with poison, Isabella, Brachiano's wife proceeds to kiss it three times before she retires to bed, and falls down dead. Brachiano's response to this reveals his feelings towards her, 'excellent, now she's dead' he clearly has no respect for the woman. The court scene reveals most about Vittoria's character. She appears as a very shameless strong character. She requests the judge to speal in 'his usual toungue' so that the audience may hear the trial fairley. This may be seen as a foolish act on her behalf, as she will be showing herself up, however another interpretation may see her as a brave and fare character. A true reflection of the character of women can be seen in (III, ii 136) 'Must personate masculine virtue to the point' She clearly feels under-represented as female, so believes she must stand as a man to be understood. As a character, Vittoria stands to represent females in the play as a whole. Although her characteristics change, she is a strong and intellectual character who bears a positive representation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Othello essays

  1. Free essay

    Othello. Emilias monologue in act IV scene iii lines 82-99 articulate her views ...

    uses both "Husband" and "Wife" and the pronouns "they", "I", "we" and "our" as determiners to whom doing which action. It is notable that the vocative "Husband" and "Wife" never appear on the same line, and instead are separated through enjambment and punctuation, "if wives do fall: say that they slack their duties."

  2. Explore the role of hatred and/or grief in any work (or works) of literature ...

    relationship with Lucetta by offering her marriage in order to lessen the social stigma she has suffered in his absence. However, the goodness here argued is severely called into question on several occasions. The impulse to lie to the returning Newson as he arrives to be reunited with Elizabeth-Jane is

  1. Analyse an extract of not less than 500 words from a text of your ...

    The language is racist and some may find the language in 'Othello' demeaning and distasteful. But plays like 'Othell'o can be used as tools to explore racism and racist views, both within an historical setting and a contemporary cultural or spiritual context. 'Othello' is a rich and satisfying play throughout.

  2. Discuss the representation of religious and racial differences in 'Othello' and 'The Jew of ...

    Also he is a moor and so he is a representative of the foreign, unknown lands far way. There is some controversy between critics over whether Othello is a black African or a North African Arab. Many critics believe it is more likely he was an Arab, as African blacks

  1. Othello as a Tragic Hero.

    that although he is a well-intentioned righteous individual, he can also be persuaded into murdering even that which is dearest to him. Although in the play, Othello is characterized as the moor of Venice, as a dignified general he still represents humanity, for he is clearly not a god.

  2. "Othello in his magnanimous way, is egotistic…. A habit of self-approving, self-dramatization is an ...

    This is another factor that led me to believe that he is egotistic. Bradley believes that Othello's sufferings are so heart-rending, that he stirs..... in most readers a passion of mingled love and pity which they feel for no other hero in Shakespeare.

  1. Explain your interpretation of Iago's character and role in the play so far.

    'Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago.' (L57.A1.S1) This quote shows that Iago said that if he were Othello, he would not want to be Iago. Iago said this because he knows how horrible he is and how he is going to cause Othello lots of trouble.

  2. There have been critics led by Dr Johnson who have wished away the first ...

    Iago goes on to say that even though he is Othello's officer, he only pretends to like him and really wants to see his downfall. From this the audience can see that Iago's character is very two faced, and we can assume he is going to be the villain in the play.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work