Cover image for The white devil ; The Duchess of Malfi ; The devil's law-case ; A cure for a cuckold
The white devil ; The Duchess of Malfi ; The devil's law-case ; A cure for a cuckold
Webster, John, 1580?-1625?
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Plays. Selections
Reissued as an Oxford world's classics paperback 1998, c1996.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xlii, 438 pages ; 20 cm.
Added Author:
Added Title:
Duchess of Malfi.

Devil's law-case.

Cure for a cuckold.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR3182 .W45 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PR3182 .W45 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This volume offers John Webster's two great Jacobean tragedies, The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi, together with his brilliant tragicomedy, The Devil's Law-Case, and the comedy written with William Rowley, A Cure for a Cuckold. Webster is a radically and creatively experimental dramatist. His tragedies deploy shifting dramatic perspectives which counteract and challenge conventional moral judgements, while the predominantly gentler tone of his comedies and tragicomedies responds inventively to contemporary changes indramatic taste and fashion. All four plays display the provocative intelligence of a profoundly original playwright. Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. In addition, there is detailed annotation, a glossary, and a critical introduction which traces Webster's artisticdevelopment, defends him against charges of over-indulgence in violence, and explores his sophisticated staging and scenic forms.

Author Notes

Webster seems to have participated in many dramatic collaborations, but his undisputed work consists of only three plays: The White Devil (1612), The Duchess of Malfi (1614), and The Devil's Law Case (1623). His two great tragedies, The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi, are darkly poetic and brooding, especially in their sardonic villain-spokesmen, Flamineo and Bosola. As critic Robert Dent has shown, Webster plundered other authors for his laborious, jewel-like, sententious, and epigrammatic style, but the overall effect is one of a soaring and passionate poetry. Webster employs the full gamut of violent and sensational effects, especially in The Duchess of Malfi, to render a physical sense of horror. His plots are drawn from the political and amorous intrigues of Renaissance Italy. (Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

The White Devil
The Duchess of Malfi
The Devil's Law-Case
A Cure for a Cuckhold