Webster, John

(ca. 1578-ca. 1625)
   English dramatist, best known as the author of two violent and melodramatic revenge tragedies, and the probable author of several others. He was the son of a prosperous London coachmaker and merchant tailor, was ap-prenticed to his father's trade, and was admitted to the Merchant Tay-lors' Company in 1603. But at least a year earlier, he seems to have been already involved in the theatrical world, perhaps as an actor and probably as a collaborator with other dramatists. Two of the three plays generally ascribed to him are now regarded as works of highest quality, The White Devil (1612) and The Duchess of Malfi (1614). A third play, the tragicomedy The Devil's Law Case (ca. 1617-1619), is also highly regarded. The attribution of another tragedy, Appius and Virginia (ca. 1608), is debated; it may have been written in collabo-ration with John Heywood. Several comedies have also been ascribed either to Webster or to him and other collaborators, including North-ward Ho and Westward Ho (ca. 1605-1606, both probably collabora-tions with Thomas Dekker), Any Thing for a Quiet Life (ca. 1621, perhaps with Thomas Middleton), and A Cure for a Cuckold (ca. 1624, ascribed to him and William Rowley).

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Webster,John — Webster, John. 1580? 1625?. English playwright whose works include The White Devil (published 1612) and The Duchess of Malfi (c. 1613). * * * …   Universalium

  • WEBSTER, John — (c. 1580 c. 1634) John Webster, a dramatic poet and playwright who flourished during the first twenty years of the seventeenth century, is best known for his melodramatic style emphasizing terror and pity. He was at times a collaborative writer;… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Webster, John — born с 1580, London, Eng. died с 1632 British playwright. Little is known of his life, but he may have been an actor who began writing plays later in his career. He collaborated with several leading dramatists, including Thomas Dekker. Webster is …   Universalium

  • Webster, John — ► (¿1580 1638?) Autor dramático inglés. Autor de El diablo blanco (1612) y La duquesa de Malfi (1614). * * * ( 1580, Londres, Inglaterra– 1632). Dramaturgo británico. Poco se sabe de su vida, pero pudo haber sido un actor que empezó a escribir… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • WEBSTER, JOHN —    English dramatist of the 17th century; did a good deal as a dramatist in collaboration with others, but some four plays are exclusively his own work, the two best the White Devil and the Duchess of Malfi …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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