The Duchess of Malfi Is a Misogynistic Play. Discuss.

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Despite the main female protagonist, the Duchess, possessing admirable qualities for a woman of the Jacobean Era, with Bosola acknowledging her worth, stating that her “behaviour (is) so noble/As gives a majesty to adversity”, John Webster has created, as critic Badendyck describes, “a male diseased world” around her; she is forced to live in surroundings where male characters such as her brothers Ferdinand and The Cardinal abuse and humiliate her throughout the play- suggesting that Webster’s play does contain certain elements of misogyny. Nevertheless, Webster may have had the greater intention for the play actually being an advocate of feminism. Badendyck additionally states that “there is no denying that the luminous figure of the…show more content…
Bosola’s corrupt unstable disposition is overwhelmed by the Duchess’ constant virtuosity and impetuous pride for herself throughout the play. The Cardinal, out of everyone, should be the incorruptible figurehead, executing sanctity, but as Charles Forker describes in Skull

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