The White Devil

by

John Webster

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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, Brachiano orders both Isabella and Vittoria’s husband Camillo murdered, a goal he accomplishes with the help of Flamineo and a nefarious conjurer. Brachiano then escapes with his new lover to Padua, where they are safe from the wrath of rival duke Francisco. Eventually, however, Brachiano’s crimes catch up to him, when he is poisoned by Lodovico. When Brachiano dies, his son Giovanni succeeds him—but Brachiano’s failure to provide a good example of leadership for his son means that this cycle of corruption will continue. Brachiano’s ability to maintain his leadership position illuminates some of the double standards in Italian Renaissance society: whereas Vittoria is publicly humiliated and punished for her lust, Brachiano escapes any sort of legal or public scrutiny. Similarly, while lower-class men like Flamineo and Marcello must get involved in the details of Brachiano’s various murderous schemes, Brachiano is wealthy enough to distance himself from the nitty-gritty of these crimes. Brachiano’s journey through the play thus demonstrates the privilege of being both male and wealthy in this time and place—until the very end, when all his misdeeds catch up to him.

Brachiano Quotes in The White Devil

The The White Devil quotes below are all either spoken by Brachiano or refer to Brachiano. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
).
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

FLAMINEO:
It seems you are jealous: I ’ll show you the error of it by a familiar example: I have seen a pair of spectacles fashioned with such perspective art, that lay down but one twelve pence a’ th’ board, twill appear as if there were twenty; now should you wear a pair of these spectacles, and see your wife tying her shoe, you would imagine twenty hands were taking up of your wife’s clothes, and this would put you into a horrible, causeless fury.

CAMILLO:
The fault there, sir, is not in the eyesight.

FLAMINEO:
True, but they that have the yellow jaundice think all objects they look on to be yellow. Jealousy is worse; her fits present to a man, like so many bubbles in a basin of water, twenty several crabbed faces, many times makes his own shadow his cuckold-maker.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Camillo (speaker), Brachiano, Vittoria
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

FLAMINEO:
Come, sister, darkness hides your blush. Women are like cursed dogs: civility keeps them tied all day, but they are loose at midnight. Then they do most good or most mischief.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Vittoria, Brachiano, Camillo
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

CORNELIA:
The lives of princes should like dials move,
Whose regular example is so strong,
They make the times by them go right or wrong.

Related Characters: Cornelia (speaker), Flamineo, Brachiano, Vittoria, Lodovico
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

CORNELIA:
What! because we are poor
Shall we be vicious?

FLAMINEO:
Pray, what means have you
To keep me from the galleys, or the gallows?
My father prov’d himself a gentleman,
Sold all ‘s land, and, like a fortunate fellow,
Died ere the money was spent. You brought me up
At Padua, I confess, where I protest,
For want of means--the University judge me--
I have been fain to heel my tutor’s stockings,
At least seven years; conspiring with a beard,
Made me a graduate; then to this duke’s service,
I visited the court, whence I return’d
More courteous, more lecherous by far,
But not a suit the richer. And shall I,
Having a path so open, and so free
To my preferment, still retain your milk
In my pale forehead? No, this face of mine
I ’ll arm, and fortify with lusty wine,
‘Gainst shame and blushing.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Cornelia (speaker), Brachiano
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:

FLAMINEO:
The duchess come to court! I like not that.
We are engag’d to mischief, and must on;
As rivers to find out the ocean
Flow with crook bendings beneath forced banks,
Or as we see, to aspire some mountain’s top,
The way ascends not straight, but imitates
The subtle foldings of a winter’s snake,
So who knows policy and her true aspect,
Shall find her ways winding and indirect.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Isabella , Brachiano
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

MONTICELSO:
It is a more direct and even way,
To train to virtue those of princely blood,
By examples than by precepts: if by examples,
Whom should he rather strive to imitate
Than his own father? be his pattern then,
Leave him a stock of virtue that may last,
Should fortune rend his sails, and split his mast.

Related Characters: Monticelso (speaker), Giovanni , Brachiano, Francisco/Mulinassar, Gasparo
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

CONJURER:
Both flowers and weeds spring when the sun is warm,
And great men do great good or else great harm.

Related Characters: Conjurer (speaker), Brachiano
Related Symbols: Trees
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

MONTICELSO:
Shall I expound whore to you? sure I shall;
I ’ll give their perfect character. They are first,
Sweetmeats which rot the eater; in man’s nostrils
Poison’d perfumes. They are cozening alchemy;
Shipwrecks in calmest weather. What are whores!
Cold Russian winters, that appear so barren,
As if that nature had forgot the spring.
They are the true material fire of hell:
Worse than those tributes i’ th’ Low Countries paid,
Exactions upon meat, drink, garments, sleep,
Ay, even on man’s perdition, his sin.
They are those brittle evidences of law,
Which forfeit all a wretched man’s estate
For leaving out one syllable. What are whores!
They are those flattering bells have all one tune,
At weddings, and at funerals. Your rich whores
Are only treasuries by extortion fill’d,
And emptied by curs’d riot. They are worse,
Worse than dead bodies which are begg’d at gallows,
And wrought upon by surgeons, to teach man
Wherein he is imperfect. What’s a whore!
She’s like the guilty counterfeited coin,
Which, whosoe’er first stamps it, brings in trouble
All that receive it.

Related Characters: Vittoria (speaker), Monticelso (speaker), Brachiano, Lodovico
Related Symbols: Poison
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

VITTORIA:
Terrify babes, my lord, with painted devils,
I am past such needless palsy. For your names
Of ‘whore’ and ‘murderess’, they proceed from you,
As if a man should spit against the wind,
The filth returns in ’s face.

Related Characters: Vittoria (speaker), Monticelso , Brachiano
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

FRANCISCO:
And thus it happens:
Your poor rogues pay for ’t, which have not the means
To present bribe in fist; the rest o’ th’ band
Are razed out of the knaves’ record; or else
My lord he winks at them with easy will;
His man grows rich, the knaves are the knaves still.
[…] That in so little paper
Should lie th’ undoing of so many men!
’Tis not so big as twenty declarations.
See the corrupted use some make of books:
Divinity, wrested by some factious blood,
Draws swords, swells battles, and o’erthrows all good.

Related Characters: Francisco/Mulinassar (speaker), Monticelso , Brachiano
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

FRANCISCO:
Oh, the fate of princes!
I am so used to frequent flattery
That, being alone, I now flatter myself.

Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 2 Quotes

FLAMINEO:
Lo you, sister!
Stay, my lord; I ’ll tell you a tale. The crocodile, which lives in the River Nilus, hath a worm breeds i’ th’ teeth of ’t, which puts it to extreme anguish: a little bird, no bigger than a wren, is barber-surgeon to this crocodile; flies into the jaws of ‘t, picks out the worm, and brings present remedy. The fish, glad of ease, but ungrateful to her that did it, that the bird may not talk largely of her abroad for non-payment, closeth her chaps, intending to swallow her, and so put her to perpetual silence. But nature, loathing such ingratitude, hath armed this bird with a quill or prick on the head, top o’ th’ which wounds the crocodile i’ th’ mouth, forceth her open her bloody prison, and away flies the pretty tooth-picker from her cruel patient.

[…]

FLAMINEO:
No, my lord.
You, sister, are the crocodile: you are blemish’d in your fame, my lord cures it; and though the comparison hold not in every particle, yet observe, remember, what good the bird with the prick i’ th’ head hath done you, and scorn ingratitude. It may appear to some ridiculous
[Aside] Thus to talk knave and madman, and sometimes
Come in with a dried sentence, stuffed with sage:
But this allows my varying of shapes;
Knaves do grow great by being great men’s apes.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Brachiano, Vittoria
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

FRANCISCO:
I shall never flatter him: I have studied man too much to do that. What difference is between the duke and I? no more than between two bricks, all made of one clay: only ’t may be one is placed in top of a turret, the other in the bottom of a well, by mere chance. If I were placed as high as the duke, I should stick as fast, make as fair a show, and bear out weather equally.

Related Characters: Francisco/Mulinassar (speaker), Flamineo, Brachiano
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

Here, the rest being departed, LODOVICO and GASPARO discover themselves.

LODOVICO:
Devil Brachiano, thou art damn’d.
[…]You that were held the famous politician,
Whose art was poison.

GASPARO:
And whose conscience, murder.

LODOVICO:
That would have broke your wife’s neck down the stairs,
Ere she was poison’d.

GASPARO:
That had your villainous sallets.

LODOVICO:
And fine embroider’d bottles, and perfumes,
Equally mortal with a winter plague.

GASPARO:
Now there ’s mercury—

LODOVICO:
And copperas----

GASPARO:
And quicksilver----

LODOVICO:
With other devilish ’pothecary stuff,
A-melting in your politic brains: dost hear? […]
And thou shalt die like a poor rogue […]
And be forgotten
Before the funeral sermon.

Related Characters: Lodovico (speaker), Gasparo (speaker), Brachiano, Isabella
Related Symbols: Poison
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

FLAMINEO:
Had women navigable rivers in their eyes,
They would dispend them all. Surely, I wonder
Why we should wish more rivers to the city,
When they sell water so good cheap. I ’ll tell thee
These are but Moorish shades of griefs or fears;
There ’s nothing sooner dry than women’s tears.
Why, here ’s an end of all my harvest; he has given me nothing.
Court promises! let wise men count them curs’d;
For while you live, he that scores best, pays worst.

FRANCISCO:
Sure this was Florence’ doing.

FLAMINEO:
Very likely:
Those are found weighty strokes which come from th’ hand,
But those are killing strokes which come from th’ head.
Oh, the rare tricks of a Machiavellian!
He doth not come, like a gross plodding slave,
And buffet you to death; no, my quaint knave,
He tickles you to death, makes you die laughing,
As if you had swallow’d down a pound of saffron.
You see the feat, ’tis practis’d in a trice;
To teach court honesty, it jumps on ice.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Francisco/Mulinassar (speaker), Vittoria, Brachiano, Zanche
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 6 Quotes

VITTORIA:
If Florence be in the court, would he would kill me.

GASPARO:
Fool! Princes give rewards with their own hands,
But death or punishment by the hands of others.

Related Characters: Vittoria (speaker), Gasparo (speaker), Lodovico , Brachiano, Francisco/Mulinassar
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:
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Brachiano Character Timeline in The White Devil

The timeline below shows where the character Brachiano appears in The White Devil. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...At the same time, Lodovico resents that he is being punished while the Duke of Brachiano, widely known to be pursuing a married woman named Vittoria, faces no such charges. (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
The scene now shifts to the Roman court. Just as Lodovico said, Brachiano is desperate to have sex with Vittoria. Flamineo, one of Vittoria’s brothers, encourages Brachiano to... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Brachiano frets that Vittoria’s husband Camillo will get in the way, but Flamineo promises that Vittoria... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Camillo enters the room, interrupting Brachiano and Flamineo’s conversation. Brachiano promptly exits. Camillo complains to Flamineo that he does not remember... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Vittoria enters, and Flamineo seizes the moment: though he is still loyal to Brachiano, Flamineo pretends to sing Camillo’s praises to Vittoria. Loudly, Flamineo tells his sister of Camillo’s... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
To give Vittoria time to see Brachiano, Flamineo then executes the final step of his trick: he tells Camillo to separate himself... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Camillo, excited by this plan, hurries off, and Brachiano returns. As soon as he does, Vittoria’s face changes, prompting Flamineo to scoff that “women... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
While Flamineo and Vittoria’s maid Zanche look on, Brachiano and Vittoria flirt, admitting their feelings for each other. Cornelia panics, realizing that Vittoria and... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Vittoria tells Brachiano about a dream she had the night before. In the dream, Vittoria was sitting peacefully... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Flamineo, realizing that Vittoria is trying to convince Brachiano to kill her husband and his wife, applauds his sister as an “excellent devil.” For... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
...telling her children she is deeply ashamed of them. Vittoria protests that the intensity of Brachiano’s pursuit has made her feel that she has no choice but to give in to... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Now that Flamineo is alone with Cornelia, he explains that he is trying to help Brachiano so that Brachiano will make him a wealthy man. Cornelia cannot abide this logic, asking,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...court with her brother Francisco de Medici, the Duke of Florence. Francisco makes reference to Brachiano’s wandering eye, but Isabella says that she would rather let her husband be than try... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Along with Monticelso, a Cardinal in the Roman church, Francisco meets with Brachiano and Flamineo. Monticelso lectures Brachiano on acting out of passion, counseling that “when you awake... (full context)
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
When Brachiano does not deny the accusation, Francisco is furious that Brachiano is treating Isabella so poorly.... (full context)
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
...bravery and wit so charm Francisco that he is temporarily able to make peace with Brachiano. Francisco leaves, but not before mentioning that Count Lodovico has now become a pirate. (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Returning home from her trip abroad, Isabella explains that her intense love for Brachiano has brought her back to Rome early. But while Isabella dotes on Brachiano, he treats... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Isabella is deeply hurt, but instead of complaining to Francisco (as Brachiano expects), Isabella decides to make peace between the two men. As Francisco watches, Isabella pretends... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Soon after, Flamineo pulls Brachiano to the side of the stage, introducing him to the nefarious Doctor Julio. The doctor... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
...In his absence, Monticelso and Francisco reveal their real plan: now that Camillo is gone, Brachiano will show the extent of his lust for Vittoria, and they can catch him in... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...avenge himself.” Francisco and Monticelso leave to observe Vittoria (whom they call a “strumpet”) and Brachiano in action. As they go, Francisco compares the adulterous couple to two sickly trees, which... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
At exactly midnight, Brachiano meets in his home with a conjurer to plot out the mechanics of Isabella and... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
...Julio and his assistant Christophero enter Isabella’s bedroom and approach the picture she has of Brachiano. Covering their eyes and noses with glass, the two men burn a variety of perfumes... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
The dumb show ends, and the conjurer explains that Isabella always kisses her picture of Brachiano before she falls asleep—so poisoning the picture will be the perfect way to poison her.... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
...neck and makes it look like an accident that the horse caused. The conjurer tells Brachiano that both Flamineo and “the virtuous Marcello” are in on this plot. Satisfied, Brachiano promises... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...lawyer to hear her case. The lawyer advises that if they can prove Vittoria and Brachiano “have but kissed one another,” they can prove that Vittoria is guilty of her husband’s... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...debate. Marcello is loyal to Francisco, and he does not support his sister’s relationship with Brachiano. By contrast, Flamineo again emphasizes that he will do anything for material gain. Marcello reveals... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...of the characters have come to see Vittoria’s arraignment. Francisco and Monticelso try to keep Brachiano from the proceedings, but they are unsuccessful. The court calls Vittoria to the stand, and... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Monticelso brings up the fact that Brachiano was staying with Vittoria the night Camillo died. Brachiano explains this away by saying that... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Now that Brachiano is gone, Monticelso produces one of his letters and shows it to the court because... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...her lady-in-waiting Zanche to a house for “convertites,” or “penitent whores.” The court doesn’t charge Brachiano, Flamineo, or Marcello with any crime. However, both of Vittoria’s brothers are charged “sureties,” or... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Brachiano re-enters, looking distraught and speaking nonsense. Soon after, Giovanni appears dressed all in black—as he... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...calls “distraction”—in front of various foreign ambassadors. Since the ambassadors think it is clear that Brachiano and Vittoria have conspired to commit murder, Flamineo tries to distance himself from Brachiano, regretting... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Outside the courthouse, Francisco fumes: he wants to take revenge on Brachiano for his sister’s death, but to do so would be to start a war, and... (full context)
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...quickly turns into anger, and he is more determined than ever to get back at Brachiano. (full context)
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...at last confides his plot: he will use this book to hire murderers to kill Brachiano. And what better assassin than Count Lodovico, whom he has just pardoned? To accomplish this... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Brachiano arrives, and he and Flamineo demand to see the letter. To Brachiano’s horror, it is... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Still flustered, Brachiano shows the letter to Vittoria and demands to know the truth. Vittoria explains that she... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Vittoria can’t forgive Brachiano so easily. Instead, she laments that he has given her nothing but “infamy,” roping her... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
After much persuading, Flamineo is eventually able to get Vittoria and Brachiano to join hands and come back together (though Vittoria still complains of “ye dissembling men!”)... (full context)
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Moreover, though he loathes Francisco, Brachiano ultimately decides to adopt and adapt the plan laid out in the letter: instead of... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Flamineo explains that in his analogy, Vittoria is the crocodile and Brachiano is the bird—she must not show ingratitude for what he has done for her. Flamineo... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
A servant informs Francisco that Vittoria and Brachiano have seized on this political confusion to make their escape to Padua. Francisco laments that... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
...Pope (Pope Paul IV). In his first act as Pope, Monticelso calls for Vittoria and Brachiano’s excommunication. (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Privately, Francisco confirms with Lodovico that he is willing to assassinate Brachiano. Witnessing this conversation (but not being able to hear it), Monticelso asks Lodovico what Francisco... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
...Pope. Lodovico realizes that though Monticelso pretended to be outraged at the idea of murdering Brachiano, he’s actually helping to sponsor Francisco’s plot. Lodovico reflects that Monticelso is deceptive like “brides... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Now at the court in Padua, Flamineo confers with his friend Hortensio. Brachiano and Vittoria have gotten married and are holding court in Padua. An impressive young Moor... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Brachiano enters alongside Mulinassar, who is really Francisco in disguise. Brachiano pays great honor to Mulinassar,... (full context)
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Once Brachiano and Flamineo leave, the conspirators reveal themselves and plot their revenge. Lodovico wishes that they... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Brachiano enters and tries to make sense of the confusion. In her rage, Cornelia grabs the... (full context)
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Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Flamineo begrudgingly does what Brachiano has ordered, acknowledging that his “will is law now.” Meanwhile, Lodovico—still in disguise as a... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Brachiano and his friends go to indulge in a staged fight, but as soon as the... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
As Brachiano collapses, he fumes that even though as a duke he has “given life to offending... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
...as Capuchin monks. Flamineo instructs them to administer the extreme unction, and they exit with Brachiano. Flamineo reflects that at the moment of death, princes are alone; “where are their flatterers... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Lodovico (in disguise) enters and explains that Brachiano is going mad, but that he has left his entire dukedom to Vittoria (until Giovanni... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Still dressed as Capuchin monks, Lodovico and Gasparo pretend to give the last rites to Brachiano. But before Brachiano takes his last breath, they reveal their true identities and tell him... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Brachiano finally takes his last breath, and Vittoria bursts into tears. Flamineo, skeptical that Vittoria is... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Cornelia’s profound grief disturbs Flamineo. And to make matters worse, Brachiano’s ghost appears and throws dirt on Flamineo, who is overcome with “melancholy” as he thinks... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Vittoria agrees to the plan, and she pretends to prepare to join Brachiano in the afterlife; Zanche exclaims that she sees no purpose for life without her beloved... (full context)