Webster repeatedly draws attention to political situations and to the way in which all individuals are embedded in their social and political milieu. We have also seen that he dramatises political and legal conflict and corruption, often focusing on debates about, and struggles for, female sexuality. In the first two chapters we discussed how he created a corrupt and divided society through staging and content, raising questions about the correct ethical path within a political world and about the relationship between individualism and the state. We saw in Chapter 2 how the plays’ closing moments both resolve some of these issues and posit open-ended questions about the endemic nature of self-interest and political corruption. In this chapter we shall look explicitly at the society and politics of his dramatic worlds within two extracts, analysing how social structure and political conduct are intimately connected; how characterisation is a key way in which Webster engages our own political views; and the function of gender within the political crises.
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