The White Devil


John Webster

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The White Devil can help.

The White Devil Characters


Flamineo is Cornelia’s son, Vittoria and Marcello’s brother, and Brachiano’s aide. Having grown up in a family that’s not particularly wealthy, Flamineo is determined to increase his social standing, whatever the cost… read analysis of Flamineo


Vittoria, identified in the play’s title as being based on “Vittoria Corombona the famous Ventian Curtizan,” is Camillo’s wife and Brachiano’s adulterous lover. She is probably also the titular “white devil”: she insists… read analysis of Vittoria


Brachiano, whose full name is Paulo Giordano Orsini, is married to Isabella—but unfortunately for everyone involved, Brachiano is in love not with his wife but with the beautiful Vittoria. In pursuit of Vittoria… read analysis of Brachiano


Francisco de Medici is the duke of Tuscany and one of the most powerful men in all of Italy. As a member of the real-life Medici family, Francisco had connections to many European leaders, from… read analysis of Francisco/Mulinassar


Monticelso is an ally of Francisco’s and a prominent cardinal in the Roman church—until, midway through The White Devil, he is made the Pope. This high religious standing would make it appear that… read analysis of Monticelso
Get the entire The White Devil LitChart as a printable PDF.
The White Devil PDF


Count Lodovico begins the play as a murderer and drunkard in exile; he has been kicked out of Rome after participating in one too many scandals. But at the urging of his friends Antonelli and… read analysis of Lodovico


Camillo is Vittoria’s husband and Monticelso’s nephew. Because Vittoria is openly having an affair with Brachiano, Camillo becomes a source of mockery for Flamineo and his friends: they tease Camillo that he… read analysis of Camillo


Isabella is Brachiano’s wife, Giovanni’s mother, and Francisco’s sister. A Medici by birth, Isabella belongs to one of the most powerful families in all of Renaissance Italy. But as soon as she marries… read analysis of Isabella


Giovanni is Brachiano and Isabella’s son and heir to his father’s dukedom. At the beginning of The White Devil, Giovanni is witty and selfless, and he charms both his father and Francisco with… read analysis of Giovanni


Marcello is Cornelia’s son and Vittoria and Flamineo’s sibling. Unlike his older brother Flamineo, Marcello feels that decency and honesty are more important than wealth; he does not approve of Flamineo’s scheme to… read analysis of Marcello


Cornelia is Flamineo, Marcello, and Vittoria’s mother. According to Flamineo, her husband died when her children were young, leaving the family without any money. Still, Cornelia feels strongly that her family’s lack… read analysis of Cornelia


Zanche is Vittoria’s friend and lady-in-waiting; she’s also a Moor. Before the play begins, she and Flamineo were romantically involved, and he has promised marriage to her; by the end of the play… read analysis of Zanche


Gasparo is Lodovico’s best friend. He promises to help Lodovico get his banishment shortened, but he also urges Lodovico to use his time in exile to reflect on his wrongdoing. Later in the play… read analysis of Gasparo


The only named character not included in the character list, Hortensio enters the play in Act V. He appears to be one of Flamineo’s closest friends, and he often acts as Flamineo’s confidante when… read analysis of Hortensio


The lawyer is hired by Francisco and Monticelso to question Vittoria; he believes that if they can prove she kissed Brachiano, then they can prove she killed Camillo and Isabella. However, when… read analysis of Lawyer


Brachiano hires the conjurer, alongside Doctor Julio and Christophero, to ensure that the murders of Isabella and Camillo go off without a hitch. The conjurer is proud of his craft; he laments that many… read analysis of Conjurer
Minor Characters
Antonelli is another one of Lodovico’s closest friends. Like Gasparo, he tries to get Lodovico’s exile reduced, though (also like Gasparo) he understands that Lodovico deserves to be punished for his crimes.
Doctor Julio
Doctor Julio is an expert in poisons and other forms of murder. After being introduced to Brachiano by Flamineo, Doctor Julio is responsible for poisoning the picture of Brachiano that Isabella kisses every night; he seems to take great pleasure in doing this.
Christophero is Doctor Julio’s assistant, who—as is laid out in the conjurer’s dumb show—helps him poison Isabella.
The Matron is the older woman in charge of the house of convertites, where Vittoria is sentenced for her alleged crimes.