We are introduced to Bosola by Delio in Act 1 Sc 1 as 'a fellow seven years in the galleys for a notorious murder'. The audience immediately sees him as an evil character capable of murder. Even though Antonio perceives him as a potentially valiant character "He's very valiant', he also realizes that he 'like moths in a cloth do hurt for want of wearing'. Hence, Bosola is seen as one who has some inkling of goodness in him but it is overshadowed by his 'close rearing'. Antonio realises that Bosola, if not used well would become a bad person. The idea of a nature of goodness overpowered by the nurture by 'black malcontents' is the result that is Bosola. He is the 'court gall', a bitter character who would 'rail at things which he wants' and would do anything to achieve. The bitterness of Bosola's character is brought out in his conversation with the Cardinal. He laments on it all being a 'miserable age', where 'the only reward for doing well is the doing of it'. He is seen as a character who has been taken advantage of by the corrupted court and who has learned to deal with his consequence 'blackbirds fatten best in hard weather'. We thus realize that the hardness of his character is brought out by the need for survival. He is a neglected character who has learned to 'thrive' in his own way. He is obviously angered by the disease of corruption in the italian court 'for places in the court are like beds in the hospital'. It is to survive that Bosola becomes an 'invisible devil in flesh'. Yet while Bosola agrees to play the role of Ferdinand's avenger to the Duchess in her 'marraige' to Antonio, it is Bosola who deems Ferdinand as a 'corrupter and an impudent traitor'. One sees that Bosola does have some ethical sense to see that he is about to commit an evil 'the ill man can invent'. To a certain extent, one realises that Bosola agrees to murder not because he enjoys it, but because he needs to survive. Yet despite these redeeming characteristics of...
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