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Compare and Contrast John Webster the Duchess of Malfi and Blphra Behn's the Rover by Beluchukwu Stella

By Beluchukwu Okwuchukwu


“The Duchess of Malfi” and “The Rover” ends with the restoration of order. In The Duchess of Malfi, the duchess death is avenged by Bosola and her twin brother ran mad. Her eldest child takes his rightful place as heir of Malfi. All the characters that committed atrocities died without any remembrance of them and peace is restored.
Order is restored in The Rover when Don Pedro consented to his sisters, Florinda and Hellena marrying the men they love. He did this for the sake of peace and for the safety of his sisters.
Compare and Contrast John Webster the Duchess of Malfi and Blphra Behn's the Rover by Beluchukwu Stella
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A typical Jacobean Revenge tragedy contains convention. The play should be set into five act as laid down by Seneca in his original rules of tragedy. There should be obviously being a desire for revenge hence the term ‘revenge tragedy’. There should be murders within a Jacobean revenge tragedy. The narrative should involve complex plotting. The story should centre on character of noble birth. There should be Italianate or southern European settings. The narrative should incorporate ghosts, skulls and madness. Lust should be a strong motivation. The plotting should involve physical horrors such as poisoning and torture. Order should be restored at the end of the play. All of the conventions set out by Seneca are seen in “The Duchess of Malfi”. The play tells the story of the duchess, a young widow, who falls in love with the lower-class Antonio. The Duchess evil brothers, Duke Ferdinand and the Cardinal don’t really approve of the Duchess remarrying Antonio. However, the Duchess and Antonio marry in secret and have three children before they are found out. The Duchess and Antonio attempt to run away but only and their eldest son managed to escape. However, the is betrayed by her servant Bosola, who was working secretly for Fredinand. The Duchess and her two younger children are executed. The injustice of this turns Bosola against the Cardinal and Ferdinand and vows to revenge for Duchess.

The play ends in an escalating chain of violence, as first the cardinal confesses his role in the murder of his mistress and the Duchess. Bosola mistakenly kills Antonio thinking him to be the cardinal. He eventually succeeds in killing the Cardinal and him and Ferdinand kills each other in a brawl. 

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