The White Devil


John Webster

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

The White Devil Symbols


In The White Devil, and in the English Renaissance period more broadly, a ram’s horns were a symbol of a “cuckold”—a man who had been cheated on by his wife. Being cuckolded…

read analysis of Horns


Poison, a common cause of death for the play’s characters, is also a symbol of deception—what looks safe or familiar, the play warns, might actually be toxic and deadly. There are two major uses of…

read analysis of Poison


Throughout The White Devil, many characters use the image of a tree to symbolize Vittoria and Brachiano’s adulterous relationship. Crucially, however, just as the characters disagree about the nature of the relationship itself—is…

read analysis of Trees