The Duchess of Malfi Act 2, Scenes 3-5: Summary and Analysis

John Webster

Act 2, Scenes 3-5: Summary and Analysis

Bosola hears a shriek “from the Duchess’ lodging.” In his position as intelligencer, he feels obligated to investigate. He encounters Antonio armed with a sword, and in their questioning of what each other is doing out, Antonio says he was setting the Duchess’s jewels, and Bosola says he was saying his prayers. They exchange bitter words, and after Antonio leaves, Bosola sees a note dropped by Antonio indicating that the Duchess has been “deliver’d of a son, ‘tween the hours twelve and one” of the night. He wonders who the father is and resolves to send a letter to her brothers, who are in Rome, to notify them of his discovery.

Scene 4 begins with the Cardinal and Julia in...

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