• 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...


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.


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.


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. Governor Kathleen Blanco was persuasive in her address to rebuild New Orleans. Her speech ...

    She becomes affective by continuing to say, "Americans rebuilt Washington after the British burned it to the ground. We rebuilt Chicago after the great fire. We rebuilt San Francisco after the earthquake. And we are rebuilding New York City after 9/11."

  2. 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."

  1. Othello as a Tragic Hero.

    O!" From the images of hell in Othello's speech, it is clear that the hero has reached his ultimate doom and the effects of his hamartia have taken their ultimate toll. The reader finds solace, however, in knowing that the protagonist does conquer the part of himself that has brought about the tragedy, although much too late.

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

    Iago takes every opportunity to place doubt in Othello's mind. He begins after Cassio exits, by using short sharp phrases to just start Othello's mind doubting the other characters actions: "Ha, I like not that" and "Cassio my lord? ...

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

    Iago and Roderigo are plotting to make Brabantio hate Othello, however the audience does not know what for yet. Brabantios character is introduced towards the end of scene one and the audience can piece together that the play will revolve around a romantic relationship forming between Brabantio's daughter and 'the moor' .

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

    (Barton 1971) As powerless onlookers over Iago's malicious jealousy; which has infamously led to a trend of impromptu intervention by audience members attempting to advise Othello of the plot against him; leads critics to many different conclusions about Othello's fate.

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

    He is married to a beautiful young white woman called Desdemona, whose father, Brabantio, disapproves of their marriage; he does not believe Desdemona entered into it willingly and he tries to accuse Othello of using witchcraft to steal his daughter away, but Othello is able to defend himself with the loyalty of his wife and is acquitted.

  2. 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.

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