In the interest of broadening my horizons, I’ve spent Oscar month away from movies and reading classic plays, instead. I’m not sure that the experience has been enlightening.
Today I wrapped up with “The Duchess of Malfi”, by English playwright John Webster (written circa 1613). I’m not quite sure what to think. During the course of the play we experience:
- Four stranglings (the Duchess, her servant, and her two youngest children);
- Four fatal stabbings (the Duchess’ two brothers, her lover, and her murderer);
- One case of lycanthrophy (the Duchess’ brother);
- One poisoning, the result of kissing a specially treated Bible (the mistress of the Duchess’ non-werewolf brother, a Cardinal);
- A waxwork representation of the Duchess’ lover and children, posed as though murdered (used to torment the Duchess, by her brother);
- A entire palace full of madmen (also brought there to torment the Duchess, again by her brother); and
- One ghost.