In The White Devil the decentring of the tragic subject is most fully in the service of another preoccupation of Jacobean tragedy: the demystifying of state power and ideology. In no other play is the identity of the individual shown to depend so much on social interaction; even as they speak protagonists are, as it were, off-centre. It is a process of displacement which shifts attention from individuals to their context and above all to a dominating power structure which constructs them as either agents or victims of power, or both.
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