John Webster

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Related to John Webster: Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson

Webster, John

Webster, John, 1580?–1634, English dramatist, b. London. Although little is known of his life, there is evidence that he worked for Philip Henslowe, collaborating with such playwrights as Dekker and Ford. Webster's literary reputation rests almost entirely on his two great tragedies, The White Devil (c.1608) and The Duchess of Malfi (c.1614). Violent and sensational, both plays treat the theme of revenge and generate a brooding, somber mood. Webster's highly poetic language and profound understanding of human suffering create a true tragic pathos and force.


See his works (ed. by F. L. Lucas, 4 vol., 1927); studies by C. Leech (1951, repr. 1970), R. Berry (1972), R. F. Whitman (1973), L. Bliss (1983), and C. Forker (1986).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Webster, John


Born 1580(?); died 1625 (1634?). English dramatist.

Webster received a legal education. Upon succeeding Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre, Webster proclaimed himself the heir to Shakespeare in the Foreword to The White Devil (1609–13, staged 1612; Russian translation, 1916). However, Webster’s plays, such as the tragedies The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi (1612–14, staged 1623; Russian translation, 1959), were a reaction to Shakespeare’s humanism, a kind of reversion to the pre-Shakespearean tragedy of revenge. Nevertheless, Webster displayed a sophisticated psychological skill in presenting his characters. His forte was the depiction of unexpected changes in emotion and concern for the tragic in life. Webster’s comedy The Devil’s Law Case (1616–22) and the “scholarly tragedy” Appius and Virginia (1608–30) have historical literary importance. Webster collaborated in writing a number of comedies with T. Dekker and other dramatists.


The Complete Works, vols. 1–4. Edited by F. L. Lucas. London, 1927.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, fasc. 2. Moscow, 1945. Page 124.
Anikst, A. “Sovremenniki Shekspira.” In the collection Sovremenniki Shekspira, vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.
John Webster. Edited by B. Morris. London [1970].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
English Seniors Champion Roy Smethurst and John Webster gained the first point for the North of England side beating David Millar and Brian Grieve by two holes but the Scots finished the day 5-2 up.
Four teams will battle it out for the prize, and they will include many famous faces from the past who have graced the Hullen Edge ground, including former skipper Dennis Midwood, Charles Stanley, John Webster (who still holds the record for the highest-ever score in a Sykes Cup final, when he made 141 against Hall Bower in 1998), Neil Watson, Karl Glendenning, Mark Kingston, David Scott, Mark Baldwin and Gary Jakeman.
Andy Watt, Paul Moss, David Humble, John Webster and John Farrell all scored for Nissan with Steve Howe the home side's marksman.
. Latest qualifiers in the Mirfield Old Bank Autumn Double are Jack Clarke and Gary Ainley (Sheffield ), who beat Ian Booth and Gareth Gwilliam (Halifax/Manchester) 51-48 and John Webster and John Spinks (Alverthorpe) who beat Andrew Spragg and Chris Macdonald (Chesterfield/Macclesfield ) 61-60.
One of the injured men - the business owner John Webster - is on trial accused of failing to safeguard the safety of his employees at the premises in Alma Street, St Helens.
In the other half of the draw, Senior beat John Webster (Springwood) 21-10 before another cracking semi against Paul Sigsworth.
The draw for June 19 (6.00 practice, 6.30 start) is: Terry Giles (Crosland Moor) v Paul Rangeley (Netherton Con), John Webster (Wakefield) v Nick White (Thongsbridge CBC), David Scott (Lower Hopton) v Roy Sutton (Waterloo BC), Alan Bamforth (Longwood BC) v Mick Higgins Jnr (Lockwood Con).
Two former winners are in the field and one of them, Springwood's John Webster, is looking to hold onto the title he won against Dave Fox at Almondbury BC last year.
BIN IT ALL: Recycling paper and cardboard , from left, are Piazza operations supervisor John Webster, centre manager John Beardell and Trevor Holmes of Kirklees Cleansing (JH101109Fpiazza-01)
Retired teacher John Webster said: "They are simply ripping up the area.
Horse slaughterer John Webster, who happened to be passing at the time, helped firefighters lift the animal back up using straps.
B R Jones, Liverpool 11, L Connor, Skelmersdale, John Webster, Kirkdale, Ray Dougherty,