"The jungle crouched, humped in silence.

Then spoke the thunder


Datta: what have we given?

My friend, blood shaking my heart

The awful daring of a moment’s surrender

Which an age of prudence can never retract

By this, and this only, we have existed

Which is not to be found in our obituaries

Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider

Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor

In our empty rooms"


The White Devil by John Webster

 “Then spoke the thunder” is the allusion to Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. The fable says through thunder, God spoke to men, Gods, and Devils to guide them the way to approach the internal peace. He used “DA” to respond but men, Gods, and Devils interpreted it differently. Firstly, men interpreted it as “Datta”. “Datta” means “to give” in Sanskrit, which is the oldest and holy language of humankind. Human asked himself or herself “what have we given?” Men imply that they gave up the time of prudence to God. That was time when men showed their intelligence and possession, but lack of unity. Later, men regretted for giving up their rights because that old period was their most prominent time. In addition, “Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider” is an allusion to The White Devil, Act 5, Scene 6. It represents the betrayal Vittoria to her brother, Flamineo. Vittoria wanted to commit suicide so her brother gave her a set of pistols to shoot him and then to shoot herself. She actually shot him but also tormented his dead body. Flamineo only wanted to test his sister so the pistols were set up to not killing him at all. Afterward, he responded that women can remarry even before the “spider makes a thin curtain for your epitaphs”. This means women can easily forget you when you are no longer a part of her life. They do not desperately love you as much as you love them. They can betray you anytime so do not trust any of them. In conclusion, men were responding to God that they gave up their most intelligent time when they thought that they controlled everything over God’s power. However, they regretted because during that moment, they can live forever, not getting betrayed, and live under concrete rules that they set up themselves. Those rules were not “broken by the lean solicitor”.

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