Last updated: March 16, 2019
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It heralds the future of happiness, felicity in the happy ending, optimistic romance as the subplot. When Susan realizes that her brother has been freed she can hardly believe it (p55 l 57/61). Heywood here plays on the words “amazed”, “maze” in the polyptoton. Certainly Susan is used by her brother (the woman as object, as in the main plot) as a ploy to catch Acton (p76 l96/7). So, from the dangerous maze where one may lose one’s references and even one’s identity, we move to the notion of surprise and even admiration (negative–> positive), a word which is repeated l 102.

Acton sees in Charles bringing his sister to him by the hand a miracle (p76 l 100/101). Then Susan (p78 l 147/8). The miraculous reversal of hatred into love is expressed in the antithesis, thus gliding from a notion of happy satisfaction to the sense of the maze which was already introduced in the major plot but bearing reversed positive overtones of hope and happiness in the minor plot. b) Heywood’ s art of characterization The image of the labyrinth is associated to moral, if not religious, condemnation. But it is also a transposition of the characters’ situation.

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Within the moral frame of his play, Heywood includes an artistic treatment although he individualizes his characters, he punctually keeps them in an allegorical Christian dimension which enables the playwright to use (quotation 10) a network of religious metaphors and images. See quote. The characters themselves are sometimes presented in an allegorical way; we remember for instance that Anne at the beginning before she starts speaking was depicted as an allegory of beauty, which prepares her being paralleled with an angel later on.

Conversely, Wendoll, as a tempter, is associated to the image of the poisonous serpent of Genesis. P 29 l 80/1. he is an incarnation of evil. When Nick refers to him he identifies him by means of an antonomasia, a trick consisting in using proper names describing a quality or a characteristic, which is the main attribute of a person instead of naming the persons themselves (p 33 l 178). Wendoll is the Tempter (p62 l 110). he remains the devil incarnated until the end. (P 83/84 l 108/9). Wendoll becomes a sort of living personification of the devil made visible on stage. A blurring, blurred perspective

The homiletic reading of the play sees in Frankford a perfect Christian. But, at the same time, Wendoll is paired with the still Christian image of Judas. That image of the biblical traitor refers to another antonomasia: p83 l 106/8. The other reference to Judas is made again through another antonomasia in the discovery scene (p 67 l 76/78). The repetitions underline of course the Christians implication of the play. The Elizabethan preacher Thomas Adams built his sermon, The White Devil, centered on the image of Judas, whom he presents as an incarnation of devil: quotation 11.

I, n the final interview between Anne and Wendoll, mistress Frankford describes Wendoll as :p 83 l 110. W, embodying sin, deceives everyone by the perfection of his angel face, but also by the sweetness of his voice (other allusion to the serpent). Once it is too late, the forces of Wendoll’s voice is discovered, and Francis Acton says: p 85 l12/13. However, the analogy between Wendoll and Judas is carried further as the metaphorical network of the play strengthened by scenic images surprisingly makes of Frankford a double of Judas as well as Judas.

If Frankford is apparently associated with Christ, that is the redeeming figure of light in the New Testament, he is the opposite at the same time that is a creature of darkness (scenes set at night), dissimulation and hypocrisy, just as Wendoll described himself to Anne as a creature of night acting in secrecy. P 32 l 146/9). Very soon, Frankford fits in with Wendoll’s description, as early as scene 8 where Nick tells John that he is made a cuckold by Wendoll p 41 l 57/58) From that moment, Frankford fears that death is being metaphorically in a way inflicted to him.

P 41 l 59/60. From that moment is generated a morbid climate of suspicion and doubt. P 42 l 82/3. That climate immediately exacerbates in the card scene. The motif of silence is introduced p 42 l93/5. Frankford will dissimulate p43 l114/6) John’s tongue is becoming deceitful, just like Wendoll’s. Dissimulation and secrecy are theatrically materialized by a stage prop: the dark lantern. P8 du poly. P 65 l 20 night scene. 1)The stage prop of the dark lantern; its meaning. The atmosphere of suspicion and doubt is theatrically rendered by the suggestion that darkness invades the stage and the scene, which is suggested by Frankford’s asking for light. The atmosphere of secrecy and conspiracy grows stronger in scene 13, as scene places in utter darkness p 65 l 18/19. It refers to John’ s project to catch the two lovers in the act. But the choice of the word ‘plot’ makes the spectator think of a lexicon ‘conspiracy’: “to get a dark lantern” p 65 l20. From l20 to 34, the actor who plays the part of John held the dark lantern in his hand so that John, Frankford, and the lantern, make a whole quotation 12.

The gunpowder plot strengthened the negative emblematic value of the dark lantern. That lantern more than ever is related to deceit. The malefic atmosphere of suspicion, poly p 8, is suggested by the temporal ??? , which is a moral one. The dark lantern was a common object form the second half of the 17th century and it was often represented in the iconographies of the Elizabethan, Jacobean, but also Carolinian periods. The dark lantern was negatively connoted long before the gunpowder plot probably because of the way it was designed.

Definition of it by the English Oxford Dictionary: lantern with a slide were arrangement by which light can be concealed. The slide allowed the users to cast light on what they wanted to see while remaining themselves invisible behind the dark lantern. So it gave its user the power either to produce or to remove light or darkness at will. Thanks to that device, the dark lantern was compared to an eye. Quotation 14. However, the dark lantern, on account of its negative implications cast discredit on its user, who become a wicked, corrupted copy of the omniscient god of the Old Testament.

That perverted imitator of god assumes a demonic dimension. Popular imagination linked guy faux to the devil, or the devil’s creature acting in secret, in darkness. Actually, the satanization of guy faux resulted from a propaganda conceived by James I’s government to create a climax that would ease the prosecution of Catholics. The theater, then, exploited the stage plot of the dark lantern and it made of it a spectacular icon of slyness and hypocrisy which is characteristic of diabolical characters.

Quotation 16. The dark lantern and the character form on entity, the use of the stage prop makes of its user a hypocrite, a double of Judas, the false friend of the New testament. We may note that the dark lantern was popularly known under the name of Judas lantern. Of course the myth of Judas is tackled twice in a WKK. But the metaphorical network of the play enables the spectator to draw a parallel and to establish analogies between W, Judas, and Frankford, the second Judas.

In fact, whoever uses the dark lantern has, or wants to have, an all-powerful ambition of omniscience which inverts and parodies that of the Christian god. Judas, the central figure of T A’s sermon finds it avatar in the character holding the dark lantern, who hides the presence of the devil behind an exterior appearance of Christian purity and sanctity. Quotation 17. Actually, the preacher’s comment applies to F as he turns himself into a shady man behaving like a thief, stealthily approaching at night and who ends up killing his wife.

The light of the dark lantern is a diabolical inversion of the light… quotation 18. The moralities took up the positive dimension of the biblical image quotation 19. Conversely, the dark lantern does not lead to liberty and salvation. On the contrary, it betrays its user’s wish to imprison and to possess the other; it is the instrument of Lucifer, the fallen prince of light. In WKWK, in the name of Christian charity gives himself a power of life and death on his wife, first by torturing her sadistically, before killing her with kindness.

P 71 l 154/157, important quote. Frankford pretends that he is moved by Christian humility, but In fact he behaves with utter cruelty. Behind the homiletic reassuring language of Christian forbearance, the truth is much disquieting. Heywood blurs that simple clarity of that black and white characterization of sermons and moralities. Wendoll is not the apparent opposite of Frankford, but in the play, he is his double, that is a perverted and corrupted inversion of the genuine Christian.