‘Integrity of life is fame’s best friend,
Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.’
Webster concludes the play with this couplet. Where, if at all, are integrity and nobility to be found in The Duchess of Malfi?
The given quote that concludes the play is a reference to the Duchess’s virtuosity, causing her to be remembered and highly respected, even after death. The idea of ‘crown[ing]’ the end is reminiscent of the Duchess’s self-identification as a prince, thus this quote seems to refer to her specifically. One can be described as possessing integrity and nobility if one has strong moral principles, especially the Duchess of Malfi. The Duchess’s morality is brought to attention with the comparison of her to her brothers’ morality. She is also put in situations where she willingly puts the well-being of others’ on top of…
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