Edexcel A Level Duchess of Malfi Quotes Analysed
Thorough analysis of a range of quotes from ‘The Duchess of Malfi’.
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•“like a common fountain” new act a1s1. a, (about french removing court of ‘flattering sycophants’, to de) simile to express equality, joyous surprise. context - removed cob. flows w distribution of fair power, utopian. foreshadows antonio’s ambition to marry above. dramatic monologue suggests overflowing, like the fountain, of admiration. complex sentence suggests the layers of society mingling with each other, joining to form a circular water droplet of which cleanliness breeds. symbolic of a + b’s relationship = creative + complementary. suggests utopia. could link to overbury.
•“pure silver drops” a, a1s1 (about french, to de) monosyllabic so gentle drops, metaphor for just power + fair distribution. ‘silver’ connotations to mould laws not under gold bribes. utopian french court.
•“poison 't near the head,/Death and diseases through the whole land spread.” a, a1s1 (about italian, to d) sf of suffering foreshadows methods of corruption used. plosive allit shows desperate hunger for power in italy’s, therefore eng. rhyming couplet completes the poison in cob from c to b infected. ‘head’ near the ‘Death’ suggests the core, coldness + corruptible king this arouses from, preparing for these tensions between par and king which lead to ci’s death.
•“only court-gall” a, a1s1 (about b, to de) meta + pun shows b’s obsession w ridiculing upperclasses but also wants to be one, ironic. mouthpiece for Webster - hypocritically profiting from nobility of globe. 4 humours justifies his melancholy as malcontent, warning to upper-classes that the poor see their corruption + tho ironic loathing, want it too like overbury. if bosola is the blister of the court, he infects the audience w the truth of eng corruption; poisoned w their greed too. adverb ‘only’ suggests the court is full of panderers.
•“not for simple love of piety:” a, a1s1 (about b, to de) declarative, trust. abstract noun ‘love’ appears on top so tensions between c+p as both love corruption but ironically+juxtaposingly hate each other. webster is mirror for english society. modern - sexual abuse cases in clergy. perhaps, webster hopes to show cath ‘love’ is forced on top to hide their corruption, to give them status by ‘loving’ a god who gives them power. webster presents the state, noble system of exploiting those willing to undertake dubious moral actions as a fall from grace and corruptible; that it will consume those who fall foul as well as those who create the mechanism. lower-classes desperate for power, drive to extremes + national debt reaching £726,000 + 2009 MPs expense scandal. irony as the catholic church was also seen as fundamentally corrupt and amoral.
•“I do haunt you still.”