The White Devil

by

John Webster

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Giovanni Character Analysis

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 his desire to lead as a man of the people. Even as a young man, however, Giovanni recognizes that he needs an “example” to learn from. But no example ever comes—his only models of governance are corrupt and manipulative—and Giovanni struggles to figure out what kind of an adult he wants to be. By the end of the play, when Brachiano has died and Giovanni has taken over his dukedom, he has become “villainous” like his father.

Giovanni Quotes in The White Devil

The The White Devil quotes below are all either spoken by Giovanni or refer to Giovanni . 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 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:
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Giovanni Character Timeline in The White Devil

The timeline below shows where the character Giovanni appears in The White Devil. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
...but Monticelso urges the men to take things more slowly. Just then, Brachiano’s young son Giovanni enters. Monticelso knows that Giovanni is a source of great hope for both Francisco and... (full context)
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Giovanni and Francisco talk, and Giovanni expresses his desire to be a new kind of prince:... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
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 has learned to do from his uncle Francisco—and informs... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
...brain is “on fire”—and he realizes that someone has poisoned his helmet. To Vittoria and Giovanni’s dismay, Brachiano begins to die. Flamineo frets that the ambassadors have been similarly poisoned. (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...Brachiano is going mad, but that he has left his entire dukedom to Vittoria (until Giovanni comes of age). Brachiano then re-enters, cursing and talking nonsense. Even in his stupor, however,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Young Giovanni, admired by all, has now taken his father’s place as duke. Though Flamineo tries to... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
At the last minute, Giovanni enters with a group of the ambassadors. Seeing the bloody mess, and learning of his... (full context)