The White Devil

by

John Webster

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Zanche Character Analysis

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, however, Flamineo has begun to distance himself from her. Zanche listens in on many of Vittoria and Brachiano’s conversations, and when she meets Mulinassar—who is really Francisco in disguise—she falls in love with him, sharing all the secrets she has learned in a bid to earn his affection. Though Zanche is portrayed as inconsistent and fickle for much of the play, at the end, her bravery in the face of death redeems her.

Zanche Quotes in The White Devil

The The White Devil quotes below are all either spoken by Zanche or refer to Zanche . 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 5, Scene 3 Quotes

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

FLAMINEO:
Whither shall I go now? O Lucian, thy ridiculous purgatory! To find Alexander the Great cobbling shoes, Pompey tagging points, and Julius Cæsar making hair-buttons, Hannibal selling blacking, and Augustus crying garlic, Charlemagne selling lists by the dozen, and King Pepin crying apples in a cart drawn with one horse!
Whether I resolve to fire, earth, water, air,
Or all the elements by scruples, I know not,
Nor greatly care.

Related Characters: Flamineo (speaker), Vittoria, Zanche
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The White Devil LitChart as a printable PDF.
The White Devil PDF

Zanche Character Timeline in The White Devil

The timeline below shows where the character Zanche appears in The White Devil. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
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... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...remove all the obstacles between himself and Vittoria, putting her “above law, and above scandal.” Zanche, who has been setting up a picnic spread and listening in, exits. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
The trial ends, and Monticelso assigns Vittoria and her lady-in-waiting Zanche to a house for “convertites,” or “penitent whores.” The court doesn’t charge Brachiano, Flamineo, or... (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... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
...making a living as a soldier. Flamineo then complains to Hortensio that he had promised Zanche he would marry her; he no longer wishes to do so, but he is afraid... (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... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Zanche has slipped away to talk to Francisco-as-Mulinassar. Almost immediately, she confesses her love to him;... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Zanche returns and flirts with Francisco-as-Mulinassar, and each pretends to have had a dream about having... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Still not realizing the true identity of Mulinassar, Zanche tells him she plans to rob Vittoria to and escape to the countryside, where she... (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 top of... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Later that evening, Flamineo makes his way to Vittoria’s quarters, where she and Zanche are recovering from Brachiano’s murder. He asks Vittoria to give him some part of the... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
Flamineo then shows Vittoria and Zanche that he has brought pistols with him. Arguing that the courts will catch up them... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
...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 Flamineo in it. Flamineo... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...Alexander the Great cobbling shoes, “and Julius Caesar making hair-buttons.” But just as Vittoria and Zanche think they can celebrate their victory, Flamineo reveals that he is not dying after all—he... (full context)
Double Standards of Desire Theme Icon
...face of death, insisting that she is “too true a woman” to collapse into panic. Zanche similarly shows her grit, telling Gasparo—who is about to execute her—that her blood is as... (full context)