John Webster (c. 1578 - c. 1630s)

John Webster
(1578-1630)

 

Welcome to John Webster's Site:

 

     If you are a Webster lover you must visit the excellent site of Benjamin Capps, he is the director of the film Adaptation of John Webster's THE DUCHESS OF MALFI

     BENJAMIN CAPPS is planning his debut with an adaptation of John Webster's 1612 play "The Duchess of Malfi." He is a Chicago actor/filmmaker and is producing a portion (Act III, scene ii) of The Duchess of Malfi on 16mm, in hopes that he can eventually do the entire play on film.

     The Duchess of Malfi is his favourite play and Ferdinand his favourite character. He has been wanting to play him for years. Now he is Director and actor. Well done, Benjamin!!

Here are his links, I am sure you would love it:

http://www.benjamincapps.com/main.html

http://www.benjamincapps.com/duchess.html

http://www.benjamincapps.com/innerbelow.html

Soon in this Site you will be able to see all the news and pictures about Benjamin's Film in the following link:

The Duchess of Malfy a Film by Benjamin Capps

John Webster (c. 1578- c. 1630s)

     (b. c. 1580, London, Eng.—d. c. 1632), English dramatist whose The White Devil (c. 1609-c. 1612) and The Duchess of Malfi (c. 1612/13, published 1623) are generally regarded as the paramount 17th-century English tragedies apart from those of Shakespeare.

     Little is known of Webster's life. His preface to Monuments of Honor, his Lord Mayor's Show for 1624, says he was born a freeman of the Merchant Taylors' Company. He was probably a coachmaker, and possibly he was an actor. Apart from his two major plays and The Devils Law-Case (c. 1620; published 1623), his dramatic work consists of collaborations (not all extant) with leading writers. With Thomas Dekker, his main collaborator, he wrote Westward Ho (1604) and Northward Ho (1605), both of which were published in 1607. He is also believed to have worked to varying degrees with William Rowley, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher, John Ford, and perhaps Philip Massinger. Eight extant plays and some nondramatic verse and prose are wholly or partly his; the most standard edition is The Complete Works of John Webster, ed. by F.L. Lucas, 4 vol. (1927).

     The White Devil, like Macbeth, is a tragedy of action; and The Duchess of Malfi, like King Lear, is a tragedy of suffering.

[From Encyclopaedia Britannica]


     The White Devil has a horrifically corrupt court, and a 'heroine' (Vittoria Corombona) who is 'the white devil' of the title — a character as evil as those she destroys. The themes of revenge and justice dominate the play, and it has a dark, brooding, and claustrophobic atmosphere, with incidents of appalling violence and cruelty. Goodness is rather more of a weakness than a virtue in the play, and natural human relationships outside and inside the family are shown as twisted, perverted and corrupt. A courageous attitude to death is seen as almost the only virtue open to a human being.

     The Duchess of Malfi differs from The White Devil and many other Jacobean plays in that its central couple, the Duchess and her husband, are not evil, but become the victims of evil by marrying against the wishes of the insane Duke, the Duchess's brother. Cruelty, corruption, grotesque violence, madnes, and all the hallmarks of Jacobean tragedy are there, but the characterisation in the play is remarkably subtle, the boundaries between good and evil more clearly marked, and many of the characters genuinely fascinating psychological studies.

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Updated 27/09/2006.

 

 


 The Works of John Webster, The White Devil, The Duchess of Malfi, Volume I, edited by D. C. Gunby, David Carnegie, Antony Hammond, Doreen del Vecchio, Cambridge University Press

The Works of John Webster. Volume I. The White Devil, The Duchess of Malfi. Edited by D.C. Gunby, D. Carnegie, A. Hammond, D. Vecchio, CUP.

 The Works of John Webster. The Devil's Law-Case, A Cure for a Cuckold, Appius and Virginia. Volume II, Edited by D. C. Gunby, D. Carnegie, M. Jackson, Cambridge University Press

The Works of John Webster, Volume II. The Devil's Law-Case, A Cure for a Cuckold, Appius and Virginia. Edited by D. C. Gunby, D. Carnegie, M. P. Jackson, CUP.

 Three Plays: The White Devil, The Duchess of Malfi, The Devil's Law-Case. John Webster, David C. Gunby (Introduction). Paperback, February 1977

Three Plays: The White Devil, The Duchess of Malfi, The Devil's Law-Case. John Webster, David C. Gunby (Introduction). Paperback, February 1977

You can buy Webster's Works on line:

Barnes & Noble.com:

Volume I
Volume II
Three Plays

Amazon.com:

Volume I
Volume II

Webster: The white devil
(Notes)

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