The White Devil

by

John Webster

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House of Convertites Term Analysis

A house of convertites is, as Cardinal Monticelso himself defines it, a house for “penitent whores.” Though there is no real record of such a thing existing outside of John Webster’s play, Webster imagines that such houses would be fairly lax, governed only by an older Matron. Though Vittoria is sent to a house of convertites as punishment for her affair with Brachiano, she is seemingly allowed to leave at will.
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House of Convertites Term Timeline in The White Devil

The timeline below shows where the term House of Convertites appears in The White Devil. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
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 Marcello with any crime.... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Punishment and Repentance  Theme Icon
...of madness. As Vittoria leaves the courthouse, she swears to Monticelso that in her heart, the house of convertites will become “honester […] than the Pope’s palace, and more peaceable than thy soul.” (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
Leading by Example vs. Leading by Force Theme Icon
Flamineo and the Matron are now at the house of convertites , discussing important political news. They reveal that the Pope is on his deathbed, and... (full context)
External Virtue vs. Internal Truth Theme Icon
Class and Corruption Theme Icon
...but “infamy,” roping her into this elaborate murder plot and getting her sent to this house of convertites . Vittoria throws herself on her bed and begins to sob, while Flamineo encourages her... (full context)