Archive for April, 2014

Apr 22 2014

Whispers of Immortality

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I figured I’d let T.S. Eliot write a post. As a literary critic, the man was largely responsible for renewing interest in all of the Renaissance writers (other than Shakespeare) that I study.  But his most eloquent, and most quoted, study of John Webster opens the poem “Whispers of Immortality”: Webster was much possessed by […]

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Apr 17 2014

Duchess Revivals

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BOSOLA. What would I do, were this to do again? (4.2.26) The Duchess of Malfi was an instant hit with London audiences. The King’s Men (Shakespeare’s theatre company) debuted the play at their indoor theatre, the Blackfriars. The play quickly became part of their stock, frequently revived both at Blackfriars and at the Globe. The […]

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Apr 08 2014

John Webster (c. 1580 – c. 1634)

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John Webster, the dramatist, was born to John Webster, the London coach and wagon maker, at a time when the coach industry was rapidly expanding. The industry being too new to have its own guild, John Webster Sr. joined the Merchant Taylor’s Guild and became one of its most prominent members. As a member, he […]

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Apr 02 2014

Mandrakes and Madness

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FERDINAND. I have this night digged up a mandrake. CARDINAL.                                                                       Say you? FERDINAND. And I am grown mad with’t. (2.5.1-2)   DUCHESS.                               Come, violent death – Serve for mandragora to make me sleep. (4.2.226-27) Practical advice for when you find yourself by a gallows in the dead of night with a yen to […]

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