Entries on Literature
This text analyses the plays as they connect to the ages considered and compares this literary ages( the Revenge tragedy and Restoration comic age)
Jacobean revenge tragedy: Jacobean drama is named after Jacobus,the latin translation of ‘ James’. Scholars use this term to refer collectively to the theatrical works created during the reign of James1[1603-1625]in England. The Jacobean label often encompasses the dramatic works written during the reign of Charles 1 as well which ended in 1642 and signified the completion of the English Renaissance. John Webster is one of the great playwright of the Jacobean period. The revenge tragedy has to do with the dramatic genre in which the protagonist seeks revenge for an imagined or actual injury. The term Revenge tragedy was first introduced in 1990 by A.H Thorndike to label the class of plays written in the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras. One of the great contention of the revenge tragedy is the issue of private revenge vs divine revenge or public revene.The Dutches of Malfi is best for its spectacular and disturbing violence while violence was a common part of plays in English Renaissance.Webter are remarkable for the invertive and grotesque way in which that violence is depicted.The Dutches of Malfi originally published the tragedy of Dutches of Malfi is a macabre,tragic play written by the English dramatist called John Webster.Jacobean drama continued the trend of stage violence and horror set by Eliazabethan tragedy under the influence of Seneca.The complexity of some of the play characters particularly Bosola and Dutches and Webster’s poetic language ensure that the Dutches of Malfi is considered among the greatest tragedies of English renaissance drama.
A revenge tragedy should have the desire to revenge, there should be murder in the plot, the character is also centered on royal birth or noble birth, the setting is Italian and the narrative is also conceal with ghost, skull and madness. The plot of a Jacobean revenge tragedy involves physical horror as in torture and poisoning, lust is a strong motivation, and order is restored at the end of the play.
The paper points out the similarities and differences between the two plays. it also looks at the features of Jacobean and Restoration comedy as obtainable in the two dramatic texts.
The Revenge Tragedy, or Revenge Play, is a dramatic genre in which the protagonist seeks revenge for an imagined injury. The Jacobean drama is a scholarly term used to refer collectively to the theatrical works made during the reign of James I (1603- 1625) in England. The Jacobean plays are said to have evolved out of Elizabethan dramas but began to make a distinction from the previous era’s theatrical tradition around 1610. The plays from this period are spectacular, decadent and bizarre because these works largely ignore the implications of human disaster for society or humanity at large and focus instead on the individual. The term was first introduced in 1900 by A.H. Thorndike to label a class of plays written in the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean era. These plays were often intended to evince pessimism and cynicism from their audience. They are often satires or feature irony to a large extent. Masks, disguises and concealed identities are ubiquitous themes of the Jacobean Revenge Tragedy.
The heroines of the play, Helena, also seems to chart the times with regard to the changing attitudes about proper female behavior and the nature of women in general. Like her rake counterpart, each heroine is to a certain extent frank about her sexual needs and desires. Helena declares to her sister that she has a healthy sexual appetite and curiosity. This acknowledgment of normal female sexual desire on the part of the playwrights indicates a shift from ideas found in earlier dramas of the century, that female expressions of sexual appetite automatically made a woman a whore. It is also a way for the heroines themselves to challenge the social limitations imposed by husbands, fathers, and brothers that parallels and competes with the rake-heroes' desire for freedom of sexual expression.
The Duchess of Malfi” by John Webster is a kind of Revenge Tragedy modeled on Seneca, the Latin playwright of 1st century A.D. This play is considered as one of the best plays of Webster and as a Revenge Tragedy, it is considered as the best tragedy after Shakespeare containing almost all the characteristics of Revenge Tragedy. This play contains the depth of extreme violence, plotting and mostly revenge on the best part which are the chief elements of revenge tragedy. However, The Duchess of Malfi contains full of such terrifying, hair-raising situations from the beginning to the end. However, if we want to consider The Duchess of Malfi as a Revenge Tragedy, we need to know what we mean by revenge tragedy and its major conventions.
Everyone knows William Shakespeare, but Shakespeare was just one of many great writers working during the English Renaissance, a period of great art and literature lasting from the late 15th to the early 17th century. Many of the best writers of the periods were, like Shakespeare, playwrights who wrote their work to be performed. And one of the best, and most notorious, of Shakespeare's contemporaries was John Webster, famous playwright of the English Renaissance.
COMPARISON BETWEEN THE DUCHESS OF MALFI AND THE ROVER AS A JACOBEAN REVENGE TRAGEDY AND RESTORATION COMEDY RESPECTIVELY
Literary works of arts are studied either by content or periodically. What you see in it is based on the happenings of the convention in which it is produced. Writer’s write within the happenings of their time which can be fiction or non-fiction. Despite the differences between the Jacobean Revenge Tragedy and Restoration Comedy, similarities abound.
CONCLUSION The similarities and differences between “The Duchess of Malfi” and “The Rovers” can never be overemphasize. Restoration comedy and Jacobean Revenge tragedy deeply applies Thomas Hobbes and Niccolo Machiavellian’s principle. Restoration comedy celebrates this principle while Jacobean revenge tragedy discourages the principle by pointing out its negative effect.