The evils of greed and ambition overwhelm love, innocence, and the bonds of kinship in this dark tragedy, first presented circa 1613. John Webster's great Jacobean drama focuses on a secret marriage that strikes the disastrous spark to an inferno of violence. When the Duchess of Malfi marries Antonio, a household steward, her two fiendishly jealous brothers ― hoping to inherit her title and estates ― plant a household spy whose treachery leads to a bloody and horrifying climax. Often compared to Shakespeare in terms of his dynamic plots and poetic lyricism, Webster created radical, profoundly original works that feature shifting perspectives and thought-provoking challenges to conventional moral judgments. Required reading for courses in seventeenth-century English literature, this provocative masterpiece from the Golden Age of English drama will not only be welcomed by students and teachers of English literature but also a wide audience of general readers.