The White Devil

by

John Webster

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Marcello Character Analysis

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 kill Camillo and Isabella, nor does he approve of Vittoria’s affair with Brachiano. By contrast, Marcello allies himself with Francisco, hoping to earn higher standing through more traditional means. Despite his noble aspirations, however, Marcello is just as impulsive as his siblings: when Flamineo teases him about his youth, he threatens to kill his brother. Before Marcello can act, however, Flamineo pre-emptively stabs him. Ultimately, Marcello’s life and death demonstrate the near-impossibility of class mobility in such a stratified social system.

Marcello Quotes in The White Devil

The The White Devil quotes below are all either spoken by Marcello or refer to Marcello . 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 4, Scene 1 Quotes

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 5, Scene 2 Quotes

MARCELLO:
There are some sins which heaven doth duly punish
In a whole family. This is it to rise
By dishonest means. Let all men know
That tree shall long time keep a steady foot
Whose branches spread no wider than the root.

Related Characters: Marcello (speaker), Flamineo, Cornelia
Related Symbols: Trees
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:

CORNELIA:
Let me go, let me go.

She runs to Flamineo with her knife drawn, and coming to him lets it fall.

The God of heaven forgive thee! Dost not wonder
I pray for thee? I ’ll tell thee what ’s the reason,
I have scarce breath to number twenty minutes;
I ’d not spend that in cursing. Fare thee well:
Half of thyself lies there; and mayst thou live
To fill an hour-glass with his moulder’d ashes,
To tell how thou shouldst spend the time to come
In blessed repentance!

Related Characters: Cornelia (speaker), Flamineo, Marcello
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 4 Quotes

FLAMINEO:
I have a strange thing in me, to th’which
I cannot give a name without it be
Compassion.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Cornelia , Marcello
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 6 Quotes

FLAMINEO:
‘Tis well yet there’s some goodness in my death;
My life was a black charnel. I have caught
An everlasting cold; I have lost my voice
Most irrecoverably. Farewell, glorious villains.
This busy trade of life appears most vain,
Since rest breeds rest, where all seek pain by pain.
Let no harsh flattering bells resound my knell;
Strike, thunder, and strike loud, to my farewell!

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Marcello
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
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The White Devil PDF

Marcello Character Timeline in The White Devil

The timeline below shows where the character Marcello appears in The White Devil. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...Camillo to deal with the pirates on the Italian coast. Alongside Camillo, Monticelso also nominates Marcello, an aide to Francisco—who also happens to be Vittoria’s other brother (younger than Flamineo). (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
In the second dumb show, Flamineo, Marcello, and Camillo all get drunk and compete to jump a vaulting horse. Just as Camillo... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Before the ambassadors show up, Marcello and Flamineo engage in a heated brotherly debate. Marcello is loyal to Francisco, and he... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...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 court fees; Brachiano... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Zanche is following Flamineo everywhere he goes, and Flamineo is getting sick of it. Marcello points out that Flamineo has only himself to blame, as he had previously been involved... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Flamineo, Marcello, and Francisco-as-Mulinassar discuss the difficulty of making a living as a soldier. Flamineo then complains... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Cornelia enters and strikes Zanche; when Zanche protests, Marcello joins in, kicking her and calling her a “strumpet.” Flamineo then defends Zanche, and the... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Cornelia, having also made the trip to Padua, has heard that Marcello plans to fight someone, but she does not know whom. As she presses him for... (full context)
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
As Marcello takes his last breaths, he recalls a moment when, as a young boy at his... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...and talking nonsense. Even in his stupor, however, Brachiano is able to name Flamineo as Marcello’s murderer. Flamineo worries that this continued association between himself and Brachiano will cause his doom. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Cornelia is deep in mourning for Marcello. Alongside Zanche and other court ladies, she is “winding his grave,” throwing dried herbs on... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...her husband, but she refuses; instead, she scolds Flamineo for being a “villain” and murdering Marcello. (full context)