CHALLENGING TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE LAWS IN THE DUCHESS OF MALFI: LOVE OR LONGINGS OR DEFYING PATRIARCHY?


Anasuya Adhikari,Dr. Birbal Saha
Research Scholar & Professor, Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia, West Bengal, India
Abstract
The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster speculates into the tradition of Elizabethan marriage, laws regarding marriage, its violation and the consequences it brings. The drama continues to reverberate among today’s audiences because of the majestic appeal of the Duchess and her enterprising tryst at rebuffing the ‘authority of social conventions and norms’. The Duchess has been credited for her attempt and bravery to choose and win over a spouse for love. Wedding, one of the most important moment of a woman’s life, was seen from a completely different perspective, temperament and in a ‘non-secular’ impression. The woman during the Elizabethan age had absolutely no choice in selecting her prospective groom. Women were seen subservient to men. Elizabethan woman were raised to believe that they were inferior to men and that they must abide by ‘the other’s verdicts’. Disobedience was a crime against religion and the consequences were monstrous. Webster uses majestic traits to exemplify the Duchess’ feminine strength of virtuosity and greatness which instil in the modern audience’s empathy and respect for the Duchess. This paper tries to revisit The Duchess of Malfi, decoding these socio-cultural and religious perspective and the ways of the aristocracy used by Webster, contributing to the eventual downfall of the Duchess. This paper also delves deep into documenting Webster’s attempt to portrays her as a tragic heroine and victim of law.
Keywords: The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster, Elizabethan marriage laws, Violation of laws, Tragedy
Journal Name :
EPRA International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (IJMR)

VIEW PDF
Published on : 2021-11-19

Vol : 7
Issue : 11
Month : November
Year : 2021
Copyright © 2022 EPRA JOURNALS. All rights reserved
Developed by Peace Soft