Theme of Reputation


Key quotations for the theme of reputation in the Duchess of Malfi.
Amy Johnson
Mind Map by Amy Johnson, updated more than 1 year ago
Amy Johnson
Created by Amy Johnson almost 3 years ago

Resource summary

Theme of Reputation
  1. "Shall our blood, The royal blood of Aragon and Castile, Be thus attainted?"
    1. Act 2, Scene 5
      1. Having learned from Bosola that the Duchess has just had a baby, Ferdinand becomes enraged.
        1. Reveals the Cardinal's motivations in preventing the Duchess remarrying; he is concerned with social status and the reputation of the family, whilst Ferdiand is concerned with her sexuality.
        2. "You have shook hands with Reputation, And made him invisible. So fare you well. I will never see you more."
          1. Act 3, Scene 2
            1. Ferdinand is adamant that by marring Antonio and defying the social order, she has destroyed herself.
              1. Implying that she used to have an honourable reputation until she remarried and had children. By doing this, she had lost her reputation as an honourable woman (according to Ferdinand).
                1. "Reputation"
                  1. Capitalised- shows importance.
                    1. Important to Ferdinand and Cardinal.
                    2. "I will never see you more"
                      1. He leaves their father's "poniard" to kill herself with.
                        1. Suicide is a sin in the eyes of God. Ironic as the family cares greatly for their reputation yet this would destroy it in the time period the play is set. Also, one of the brothers is a religious figure in society.
                          1. He expects that she will listen to him due to her role as a woman, but she doesn't.
                          2. Shows that he values the family reputation more than the family itself.
                            1. Could argue that he is so angry with the Duchess and is acting in such a rash way that he cannot see that he is the one who is going to destroy the families reputation- he has told the duchess to commit suicide and later becomes mad.
                              1. They do not have a good reputation to begin with. Cardinal and Ferdinand are known to pay followers to do their dirty work, they are known to be manipulative before the plays events have even begun.
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