Adam Floridia's Reviews > The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
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's review
Jul 16, 2008

it was ok
Read in July, 2008

Reading this really made me appreciate Shakespeare's plays that much more. This is one of the only other Elizabethan (or, technically Jacobean) plays I've read not by The Bard, and it is not nearly as good. Although there are a few interesting characters, I don't think they are developed quite enough. Julia, for example, comes in and out at the most random times simply to move the plot along. Also, Webster clearly preceded the neoclassical stress on unity of time. At times, this actually read like it was supposed to be a parody of a bad play. When Bosola is questioned about another character's death, he replies "I know not how/Such a mistake as I have often seen/In a play" (V 92-4).
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