Friday 11th November- Jacobean Plays Research

Last Friday, Lynn put us in pairs and set us the task of looking at Jacobean plays to broaden our knowledge beyond last week’s lesson when we looked at ‘The Revenger’s Tragedy’. Therefore, the purpose of this session was to present our research to the class, my aim was to be able to explain the main characters of ‘The White Devil’ by John Webster and learn about the other plays that were assigned.

I was paired with Jack to present our findings, in terms of doing the research, we completed the tasks separately but presented together, I explained the characters and Jack explained the plot. I was able to talk about the main characters, their different relations and their purpose to the story. However, I believe that I could have rehearsed my section beforehand as I don’t think I got the pronunciations correct on some of the names, for example, Vittoria.

The other plays that members of the class were assigned to research were:

  • Titus Andronicus- Shakespeare
  • The Changeling – Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
  • The Spanish Tragedy- Thomas Kidd
  • The Duchess of Malfi- John Webster

I was able to learn a lot about these plays as everyone had done the research and presented clearly. A common theme through all these plays was tragedy and death and we also noticed that certain names were used through different plays, for example, Isabella and Antonio. I looked afterwards and found out that Isabella means ‘Devoted to God’ in Hebrew, especially during these times, the idea that God was real was largely believed in those times. Meanwhile, Antonio is a Spanish, Italian and Portuguese name and the plays we looked at were mainly set in these locations because killing for revenge was not allowed in England, but there were in the above countries.

After presenting our findings, we spent the final part of the lesson beginning to look at ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ by Oliver Goldsmith (1773). Lynn gave us a script, but we were only able to look at it briefly, however, from the small time we spent on it, I enjoyed that we could create it as a comedy and have different personalities to the servants. In next week’s lesson, we plan to watch a version of this play.



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