The story begins with the duchess getting married secretively. The Duchess asks Cariola to watch a secret engagement between her and Antonio. She then states, “Good dear soul, Leave me, but place thy self behind the arras, For I am going into the wilderness, Where I shall find nor path nor friendly clue to be my guide (Webster 1.3.64-68). So, why did the Duchess marry secretively? Why would such a powerful woman want to hide her marriage from the rest of her people? It is easy to assume that she did this to keep Antonio, her love, safe. Her brothers made many threats to her and her husband if she was to remarry, so it is plausible that she would want to hide her marriage. The power difference between her and Antonio was also something to conside...
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...thers as well. Her manipulative ways can be seen throughout the novel, specifically when she hides her marriage and pregnancy and when she seeks revenge on others. Therefore, she is undoubtedly evil. Ultimately, because it is the Duchess’s own personal decisions that result in everyone in the story being killed, she is the true villain of this story.
"Act III. Scene V. Webster, John. 1909-14. The Duchess of Malfi. The Harvard Classics." Act III. Scene V. Webster, John. 1909-14. The Duchess of Malfi. The Harvard Classics. N.p. , n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
"The Duchess of Malfi Summary and Analysis." The Duchess of Malfi Study Guide : Summary and Analysis of Act 3. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
"villian." Merriam-Webster.com. 2011. http://www.merriam-webster.com (14 November 2013).
Webster, John. The Duchess of Malfi. Hoboken, N.J: BiblioBytes, 1990.
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