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Antonio Bologna. Antonio has recently returned from France, full of scorn for the Italian courtiers whom he sees as more corrupt than the French. Antonio is the steward of the Duchess of Malfi's palace. His honesty and good judgement of character are characteristics well known to the other characters. He accepts the Duchess' proposal of marriage because of her disposition rather than her beauty. Her marrying beneath herself is a problem, however, and their marriage has to remain a secret, and Antonio shares neither her title nor her money. Bosola accidentally kills him.
Delio. A courtier, who tries to woo Julia. Based on a historical character of the same name, his purpose is to be the sounding board for his friend Antonio. Because he asks so many pertinent questions, he serves as a source of important information to the audience, and is privy to the secrets of Antonio's marriage and children.
Daniel de Bosola. A former servant of the Cardinal, now returned from a sentence in the galleys for murder. Publicly rejected by his previous employer the Cardinal, he is sent by Ferdinand to spy on the Duchess as her Provisor of Horse. (Ferdinand hopes to keep her away from marriage.) Bosola is involved in the murder of the Duchess, her children, Cariola, Antonio, the Cardinal, Ferdinand, and a servant. Witnessing the nobility of the Duchess and Antonio facing their deaths, he finally feels guilty, and seeks to avenge them. This change of heart makes him the play's most complex character. A malcontent and cynic, he makes numerous critical comments on the nature of Renaissance society. (He is based on the historical Daniele de Bozolo, about whom little is known.)
The Cardinal. The brother to the Duchess and Ferdinand. A corrupt, icy official in the Roman Catholic Church who keeps a mistress—not uncharacteristic of the time—he has arranged a spy (Bosola) to spy upon his sister – all this on the quiet, however, leaving others ignorant of his plotting. Of remorse, love, loyalty, or even greed, he knows nothing, and his reasons for hating his sister are a mystery. (Historically, his name was Luigi or Lodovico.)
Ferdinand. The Duke of Calabria and twin brother of the Duchess. Unlike his rational brother the Cardinal, Ferdinand is given to fits of rage and violent outbursts disproportionate to the perceived offence. He gradually loses his sanity—he believes he is a wolf and digs up graves— (lycanthropia) but, upon seeing his dead sister, has the grace to regret hiring Bosola to kill her. (In reality, his name was Carlo, Marquis of Gerace.)
Castruchio. An old lord. His name plays on the word "castrated", suggesting impotence. He's the conventional elderly man with a young, unfaithful wife (Julia). He is genial and easygoing, attempting to stay on good terms with all.
Roderigo. A courtier.
Grisolan. A courtier.
Silvio. A courtier.
Pescara. A marquis.
The Duchess. The protagonist, sister to Ferdinand and the Cardinal. At the beginning, she is a widow in the prime of her life. Though her brothers take every precaution to keep her from marriage, she secretly marries Antonio. Her brothers arrange to have her strangled. She is described as having a sweet countenance and noble virtue. Witty and clever, she can keep up with her brothers’ banter. She also has a tenderness and warmth that they lack. She has three children, two sons and a daughter by Antonio. (There is an inconsistency surrounding earlier children by her deceased husband, put down to a careless mistake by Webster.)
Cariola. Duchess's waiting-woman and privy to her secrets. She witnesses the Duchess's wedding and delivers her children. She dies tragically by strangling following the murder of the Duchess and the youngest children. Her name plays on the Italian carriolo, meaning "trundle-bed", where personal servants would have slept.
Julia. Castruchio's wife and the Cardinal's mistress. She dies at the Cardinal's hands from a poisoned Bible.
Malateste. A hanger-on at the Cardinal's court. The name means 'headache'. Referred to as a "mere stick of sugar candy" by the Duchess, he is yet another interchangeable courtier conveying the sycophantic court of Malfi.
Doctor. Sent for to diagnose and remedy Ferdinand's madness and his supposed "lycanthropia".
There is also a variety of minor roles including couriers, servants, officers, a mistress, the children, executioners, etc. They further the plot or perform small tasks that cannot be accomplished by the principals.
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Duchess of Malfi (The) (1960-12-Aldwych Theatre-London) RSCType de série: West End Transfer
Théâtre: Aldwych Theatre (Londres - Angleterre) Durée : Nombre : Première Preview : InconnuPremière : jeudi 15 décembre 1960Dernière : InconnuMise en scène : Donald McWhinnie • Chorégraphie : Avec : Godfrey Derek (Antonio Bologna), Langley Robert (Antonio's Son), Adrian Max (Cardinal), Bidmead Stephanie (Cariola), Layne-Smith Donald (Castruccio), Richardson Ian (Count Malatesti), Wymark Patrick (Daniel de Bosola), Jeffrey Peter (Delio), Church Tony (Doctor), Ashcroft Peggy (Duchess of Malfi), Porter Eric (Ferdinand), Douglas Donald (Grisolan), Phillips Sian (Julia), Bree James (Marquis of Pescara), Voss Philip (Officer), Edwards Mavis (Old Woman), Sumner David (Roderigo), Rose Clifford (Silvio), Battersby Julian (Unnamed parts), Buck David (Unnamed parts), Cruise Christopher (Unnamed parts), Dotrice Roy (Unnamed parts), Frank Maroussia (Unnamed parts), Gifford Wendy (Unnamed parts), Kerry James (Unnamed parts), Rigg Diana (Unnamed parts), Swift Clive (Unnamed parts), Thomas Dave (Unnamed parts), Thorne Stephen (Unnamed parts), Wallis William (Unnamed parts)Commentaires : Un spectacle de la RSC.
Version créée en 1960 au Royal Shakespeare Theatre à StratfordEn savoir plus sur cette version
Duchess of Malfi (The) (1985-07-Lyttelton Theatre-NT-London)Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: National Theatre (Londres - Angleterre) Salle : Lyttelton TheatreDurée : 9 mois Nombre : 74 représentationsPremière Preview : InconnuPremière : jeudi 04 juillet 1985Dernière : samedi 05 avril 1986Mise en scène : Philip Prowse • Chorégraphie : Avec : En savoir plus sur cette version
Duchess of Malfi (The) (2003-01-Lyttelton Theatre-NT-London)Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: National Theatre (Londres - Angleterre) Salle : Lyttelton TheatreDurée : 3 mois 4 semaines Nombre : 52 représentationsPremière Preview : samedi 18 janvier 2003Première : mardi 28 janvier 2003Dernière : mardi 27 mai 2003Mise en scène : Phyllida Lloyd • Chorégraphie : Avec : Janet McTeer (Duchess), Lorcan Cranitch (Bosola), Eleanor David (Julia), Charles Edwards (Antonio), Will Keen (Ferninand), Sally Rogers (Cariola), Jonathan Slinger (Delio), James Howard, Penelope McGhie, Stuart Richman, Ray Stevenson, Andrew Westfield, Michael Bernardin, Keiran Flynn, Julien Ball, Martin Chamberlain, Eliza Lumley, Margaret HilderEn savoir plus sur cette version
Duchess of Malfi (The) (2012-06-Old Vic-London)Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Old Vic (Londres - Angleterre) Durée : 2 mois 1 semaine Nombre : Première Preview : samedi 17 mars 2012Première : mercredi 28 mars 2012Dernière : samedi 09 juin 2012Mise en scène : Jamie Lloyd • Chorégraphie : Avec : Eve Best (The Duchess Of Malfi), Tom Bateman (Antonio Bologna), Mark Bonnar (Daniel de Bosola), Harry Lloyd (Ferdinand), Finbar Lynch (The Cardinal Of Aragon), Madeline Appiah (Cariola), Harry Attwell (Marquis of Pescara), Nari Blair-Mangat (Roderigo), Adam Burton (Silvio), Vyelle Croom (Malateste), Lucy Eaton (Lady in Waiting), Taylor James (Grisolan), Tunji Kasim (Delio), Iris Roberts (Julia) , Alan Westaway (Doctor and Castruccio)En savoir plus sur cette version
Duchess of Malfi (The) (2014-01-Sam Wanamaker Playhouse-Globe-London)Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Globe Theatre (Londres - Angleterre) Salle : Sam Wanamaker PlayhouseDurée : 1 mois 1 semaine Nombre : Première Preview : jeudi 09 janvier 2014Première : jeudi 09 janvier 2014Dernière : dimanche 16 février 2014Mise en scène : Dominic Dromgoole • Chorégraphie : Avec : Gemma Arterton (the Duchess), Sean Gilder (Bosola), David Dawson (Ferdinand), James Garnon (Cardinal), Denise Gough ( Julia), Alex Waldmann (Antonio), Giles Cooper, John Dougall, Sarah MacRae, Brendan O'Hea, Paul Rider, Dickon Tyrrell.En savoir plus sur cette version
Duchess of Malfi (The) (2019-12-Almeida Theatre-London)Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Almeida Theatre (Londres - Angleterre) Durée : 1 mois 2 semaines Nombre : Première Preview : lundi 02 décembre 2019Première : mardi 10 décembre 2019Dernière : samedi 25 janvier 2020Mise en scène : Rebecca Frecknell • Chorégraphie : Avec : Khalid Abdalla, Hadassah Allen, Leo Bill, Jersey Blu Georgia, Ioanna Kimbook, Michael Marcus, Ciarán Owens, Shalini Peiris, Jack Riddiford, Jethro Skinner, Kalungi Ssebandeke, Lydia WilsonCommentaires : Lydia Wilson returns to the Almeida to play the Duchess, following her Olivier Award-nominated performance in King Charles III.En savoir plus sur cette version
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