distemper’d – no – I must not strike – I
dare not punish what you dar’d commit”’ (pp.
246–7). The Countess orders him: ‘“Give me the
steel – my arm will not recoil!”’ (p. 247). As she
stabs herself with Edmund’s sword, the Countess takes agency, again,
away from her son in a final act of suicidal, metaphorical rape. The
play concludes with Edmund rushing off to war as he commands the clergy