Conclusion: Disenchanted Echoes in The Duchess of Malfi and The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania

  • Susan L. AndersonEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


Anderson explores the ways John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi uses echo to stage disillusionment with Neoplatonic ideals, examining the play’s use of liminal kinds of noise, such as prattle, groans and cries that blur distinctions between speech and sound. The chapter argues that the play’s echo scene presents a cynical abandonment of ideals of sound and meaning. The chapter then explores the way in which Mary Wroth’s The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania uses echo to recapitulate and capitalise on poetic, literary and family precedent. Anderson argues that echo provides the opportunity for a specifically feminised intervention in masculinist literary genealogies, and that Echo is, simultaneously, a woman speaking and a woman silenced, and can stand in for both.


Texts Prose romance Drama John Webster Mary Wroth 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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