The Importance Of Family And Family Relationship In The Duchess Of Malfi

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The bonds within a family are hard to break. It’s all in the old saying that “friends come and go but family is forever.” The Duchess of Malfi contradicts what society deems as a normal sibling relationship. Ferdinand is consumed with his constant desire for his sister’s inherited fortune. He plays countless and heinous tricks on the Duchess to make her go crazy, but the real person that ends up mad is himself. Ferdinand does all of these things out of spite to the Duchess, but, once he sees her lifeless body, it seems like he has a change of heart. In The Duchess of Malfi, Ferdinand’s childish stunts prove that the relationship he had with the Duchess was only built on family bonds, not intimacy when he pulls vile pranks, imprisons, and ultimately …show more content…
Ferdinand is the tormentor of the three siblings and is constantly poking fun with the younger sister. In that aspect, the sibling’s relationship in The Duchess of Malfi is like a normal brother/sister relationship that one would see today. Scott Myers writes that adult sibling relationships either focus on intimate forms of communication or loyal, family-bond forms of communication (Myers). Both Ferdinand and the Duchess are grown adults, but it is Ferdinand who can’t seem to grasp the idea of an adult sibling relationship. Ferdinand can’t stop the tormenting; he is fixated on keeping his sister chaste and unmarried in order to keep his sister’s fortune in the family. He also never owns up to his actions; he places blame on anyone but himself, which is a childish and cowardly trait. He may love his sister deep down, but he treats her death like he does with anyone else he orders to be killed—by placing the blame on the executer, which in this case it is …show more content…
For a split second, he was a normal human with real emotions and showed signs of an intimate adult sibling relationship (Meyers). Ferdinand can fool anyone with his theatrical behavior, but he cannot fool himself. He had an instinct reaction to his sister, but that does not make him any more of a brother to her. He had no remorse for his own niece and nephew or for the Duchess’s friend Cariola. He also puts the blame on Bosola for their executions. Ferdinand is similar to a 16th century king such as King Henry VIII or King Charles where executing a human being is a daily thing. There is no mercy for anyone and the reason for killing is far from rational. Power and money can cause people to do irrational things and lose sight of the people they love or loved. Ferdinand was infatuated with the Duchess’s inheritance; he didn’t think about her happiness or her safety. It was almost like if he could not be happy, then his sister could not either. Ferdinand was causing the Duchess to become as crazy as he was to her. Fortunately, she never reached that point of insanity, but the things she endured should have made her

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