Book Review: “The White Devil” (1612) by John Webster

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2013 production of Webster’s “The Duchess of Malfi.”

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Read my review of the 2014 RSC production here!

The White Devil is not an easy play to wrap your head around. The language is dense, the plot complicated to the point of convoluted, and the male characters all have names that end with “o.” Thanks, early modern dramatists’ obsession with Italy! The first time I read Webster’s work there was only one scene I enjoyed (more on that later), but having let it sink in for a few days, I find that there are things I appreciate about this play, things worth drudging through the confusing dialogue for.

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Book Review: “Coriolanus” (1605-1608?) by William Shakespeare

National Theatre (2013-2014)

National Theatre (2013-2014)

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Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s least read, least performed, and all around least popular plays. It is not as poetic compared to his other works, the story is dark and very political, and sympathetic characters are thin on the ground. And yet I am glad that Tom Hiddleston’s star power (and Ralph Fiennes’ film adaptation a couple of years before that) has brought it back into the public consciousness, because Coriolanus has a lot to offer and asks a number of thought-provoking questions about power, democracy, and the cost of integrity.

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