Adultery, intrigue, murder, revenge: the densely-packed plot of The White Devil touches on topics that are representative of the atmosphere of Jacobean tragedy. Part tragedy, part satire of a corrupt political world, the play explores the relations of the powerful to the disempowered; the opportunities and constraints of women trying to survive in a male-dominated society; the complex distribution of social hierarchy by birth, wealth, gender, race; and the way the skills licensed by the theatre itself - including disguise and both the performance and interpretation of character - become crucial survival skills, in a world of hidden motives and concealed intentions. Now comprehensively re-edited, with an introduction that addresses issues of performance, cultural and historical context, and interpretation, exploring the dark energy that has impelled audiences and scholars to return to this play again and again across four centuries.
Arden Early Modern Drama editions offer the best in contemporary scholarship, providing a wealth of helpful and incisive commentary and guiding the reader to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the play. This edition provides: A clear and authoritative text Detailed on-page commentary notes A comprehensive, illustrated introduction to the play's historical, cultural and performance contexts A bibliography of references and further reading ARDEN EARLY MODERN DRAMA General Editors: Suzanne Gossett, John Jowett and Gordon McMullan Visit the Arden website at www.ardenshakespeare.com