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5. The Question of Webster's Mode
About this Lecture
In his original preface to the play, Webster complained that the first production of his play was “presented in so open and black a theatre, that it wanted a full and understanding auditory”. In this module, we think about how the play ought to be staged, thinking in particular about the kind of theatre to which the play might be suited, as well as the level of realism or stylization required when presenting the play as a whole.
In this course, we explore John Webster’s ‘The White Devil’, beginning by thinking about John Webster himself, before moving on to consider the play itself – its setting in Italy, and the presentation of the various male and female characters in the play. In the last module, we think about how Webster’s play might best be staged – an issue that Webster himself commented on when he complained (in the preface to the printed version of the play) that the original production had been “presented in so open and black a theatre, that it wanted a full and understanding auditory”
Born in Bristol, and educated at Oxford and St Louis, Dr John Lennard has taught English, American, and Commonwealth Literature in Cambridge, London, and Jamaica over more than twenty years. He has written two widely used textbooks (on poetry and drama) and monographs on Shakespeare, Paul Scott, Nabokov, and Faulkner, as well as two collections of essays on contemporary genre writers in crime, science fiction and fantasy, and romance. Enthusiastic, discursive, widely knowledgeable, and a demon for punctuation (on which he has also published extensively), he has been a popular Summer School Course Leader and lecturer for the Institute of Continuing Education since 1992.
Cite this Lecture
Lennard, J. (2018, August 15). Webster: The White Devil - The Question of Webster's Mode [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/webster-the-white-devil/the-question-of-webster-s-mode
Lennard, John. "Webster: The White Devil – The Question of Webster's Mode." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/webster-the-white-devil/the-question-of-webster-s-mode