Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maybe a Better Icebreaker?

In the Duchess of Malfi, the reader can see many examples of literary techniques. One example of this is that Webster uses the form of foreshadowing. An interesting example of this is in the scene where Antonio and The Duchess are married. The Duchess calls Antonio into her bedchamber with the intent of marrying him, but at first tells him that she will be dictating to him. The reader soon discovers that The Duchess is going to be dictating to Antonio her will for when she passes away.

It is interesting to recognize the fact that it is a will that the Duchess wants Antonio to write, in some ways this seems rather morbid, when one considers she is about to ask a man to marry her. The fact that it is a will makes the reader realize that in the same hour when Antonio and the Duchess create their bonds of marriage they are also inadvertently point to the end of their love in death. Another interesting point to note is the fact that while the Duchess is talking to Antonio she jokes with him about who will get her inheritance. This also foreshadows (or really just hints to Antonio) about her upcoming proposal of marriage.

1 comment:

AirySpirit said...

Interesting. I hadn't even noticed the will thing (or if I did I forgot about it).

On the one hand, that seems to make the Duchess and Antonio appear more the pawns of fate. Strong as their love may be, they are thwarting the paved path, and they will die for it.

On the other hand, it shows that the Duchess is aware of the risk she takes and is preparing for the consequences. For all her mad affection, she is quite practical. She may die, but she will not be caught off guard, and she will not leave her inheritance to be split wantonly between her psychotic brothers. She will not go down without some say in the matter.

More power to her, I say. (But then, I'm biased.)