The White Devil is one of the most-studied of non-Shakespearean Renaissance plays. Its fundamental concerns resonate powerfully with a wide range of current critical interests. As a play centred on the life of a notorious woman, and a play that dramatises adultery, betrayal, and domestic violence, The White Devil has a great deal to tell us about representations of gender, sexuality, and sexual violence in the early modern period. It also closely engages issues of law and constitutes an extended meditation on courts and court politics and opens up vital questions about religion and religious controversy in post-Reformation England.
Issues of text, performance, theatre, and criticism come together in a comprehensive critical introduction which brings the life of the play into focus, exploring the energy that has impelled audiences and scholars to returban to it again and again across nearly four centuries.
|Publisher:||Manchester University Press|
|Series:||Revels Plays Series|
About the Author
Benedict Robinson is Associate Professor at Stony Brook University, USA
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Due to heroin use, seventeen years old Andrew Taylor is expelled from elite Frederick Williams Academy, a Connecticut prep school catering to the affluent. His father provides an exorbitant gift to Harrow in England, which gets Andrew into the school. Andrew is excited over one thing, the Housemaster Sir Alan Vine's daughter Persephone. Andrew is at a nearby cemetery on Harrow-on-the-Hill when he witnesses the murder of a student Theo Ryder who resided in the rundown haunted Lot dorm. The culprit is a gaunt skeletal person wearing a very old style frock coat. Feeling ill Andrew suffers from nightmares. He also learns that an emaciated person looking like the killer appeared in a performance of John Webster's The White Devil at Harrow in 1803. At the same time, he struggles with what his senses imply; Andrew plays Byron in acrimonious alcoholic housemaster Piers Fawkes's play because the American looks like the late romantic era poet. However, the American exiled teen begins to assimilate Byron's exotic life while tuberculosis spreads amidst those at the school and the bizarre takes control of Andrew's section of Harrow. The connection between the modern day and the romantic period is clever as Byron's "true" love ties the American with the late poet in this harrowing haunted school story. Although requiring a leap of faith over Big Ben as too many of the cast easily accepts the existence of a ghost, readers will enjoy this spooky fast-paced tale of an American attending Harrow. Harriet Klausner