The Duchess Of Malfi Gender Roles

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Chantilly Watson
English Litt
The Duchess Of Malfi
By: John Webster
John Webster decided to take a very interesting route with his book The Duchess of Malif. Webster started from the very beginning of the work to show the dominance of a man to a women in the 1600’s even to a woman with power. The Duchess of Malfi (Webster, 2009) is interesting in regards to gender, because it overthrows and reinforces the traditionally assigned ‘gender roles’ of 17th Century. He goes to show that a man was thought to have complete control over the woman. In this time period a female was under the ruling of her father and brother until the woman became married, which in turn left this particular brother, Ferdinand, not wanting his sister to
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When a man has a mistress it goes to show that he is looking at women as nothing but a simple object not something to cherish or care about just an object. The mistress he proves himself with is Julia. He decided to trust Julia with a bit of information about the Duchess’s murder in hopes that she would keep it to herself. But when she tells the secret about the murder he decided to kill her by poisoning her. The Cardinal is quoted as saying, “
“I knew thou couldst not keep my council, I have bound thee to’t by death” (The Duchess of Malfi, 5.2.275-276).
Instead of trusting his mistress he chose to kill her as a source of revenge to get rid of her.

This Play the Duchess of Malfi by John Webster is quit a gender striking play. In many ways are roles played my genders in the 21st century really messed with in this work. I believe that the Gender roles that we have no have became much more just and are far more equal for a woman in today's day and age. A woman is allowed to do as she pleases pretty much on her own terms. There aren't arranged marriages anymore and a brother does not have control over his siter. Webster had a very fascinating take on gender roles and how they were portrayed in his
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