The White Devil



  • A tragedy by John Webster,written some time after 1609 and first performed in 1612. The passionatedrama is loosely based on real events in 16th-century Italy. Modernrevivals include Frank Dunlop's 1969 production for the National Theatre,with Geraldine McEwan, Edward Woodward, and Derek Godfrey.

    The play centres on the adultery of the Venetian lady, VittoriaCorombona, with the Duke of Brachiano. Aided by her brother, the cynicalFlamineo, she incites the duke to kill her husband and his wife, Isabella.In a famous scene, Vittoria is tried for both adultery and murder butdefends herself with considerable intelligence. She is sentenced toconfinement but escapes to become Brachiano's duchess. However, Isabella'savengers, prompted by her ghost, poison Brachiano before murderingVittoria and Flamineo.