“Duchess of Malfi” and Society

First of all, on the day I went to watch the play, I was pretty reluctant then. It was raining hard, and it was a pretty foggy day too. The university grounds were empty, save for a few parked cars and some people wandering around. The university and the day itself were both gloomy.

This perhaps influenced my view on the play. Since I arrived about twenty minutes later after the play had started, the first scene I laid my eyes on was where the Duchess and Antonio were blatantly flirting with each other. I was amused, seeing as how they interchanged words, and especially how the Duchess acted, suddenly showing an entire leg at the time. I thought the play was about a love story. It was, but not entirely.

Watching through the entire play, I finally learned that it was about a tragedy. I haven’t had the slightest idea as to what the plot was all about, and I also thought along the way that the play should be classified as a heavily rated R, which I suppose, is a rating that classifies any movie or play as strictly not allowed for children.

For me, the play was about the love of the Duchess and Antonio, with both struggling in the society that they’re in to keep their relationship surviving. I greatly pitied the Duchess, with the siblings that she had and the fate she had befallen. It’s all rather sad.

At first I thought the Duchess to be not so bright, seeing as how the actress played her out. I also thought the Duchess was unfaithful; I had mistaken Julia for the Duchess at some point as well as Antonio and Bosola for fools.

Bosola was rather charming at first, but then he took advantage of the Duchess’ problems and played with lives. At least he realized his mistake in the end. It was quite sad as how the ending played out. Bosola stabbing Antonio, then the Cardinal, Ferdinand comes and finishes his brother off, stabbing Bosola after, with Bosola killing Ferdinand at the end. I noticed that the audience laughed at this part. I have to confess that I laughed myself too, but that goes to show that people nowadays find the violence and irony of fools finishing each other off rather amusing. What a twisted society we are in, huh.

Even if most of the main characters were dead, the ending was rather hopeful, with an adorable kid stretching his arm up high, sword in hand, with the light shining upon him. Everyone was rather touched, with the aww’s for evidence.

I’d like to relate this to the hardships and sacrifices that were for and in our country. I learned from the play that no matter how dark, sad, and tragic a story was, as long as that tragedy was for something greater and for the sake of protecting others, there will always be something to carry over that sense of deep care that then guides their fallen hope anew in the end. Even if the chances or evidences of that hope seem pretty bleak.

 – Audrey Agustin

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