The Duchess of Malfi Act 4, Scene 2: Summary and Analysis

John Webster

Act 4, Scene 2: Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Mad Men: these men, including an astrologer, doctor, priest, and lawyer, are sent to the Duchess by Ferdinand

Summary
The Duchess and Cariola are hounded by “the wild consort of madmen” put in the Duchess’s lodging by Ferdinand. The Duchess remarks that “the robin red-breast and the nightingale never live long in cages,” and she too is likely to die soon. A servant arrives to tell the Duchess that Ferdinand means to have the madmen cure her melancholy, and they enter to speak several lines apiece. Bosola, made up like an old man, arrives as the madmen dance. He observes that the Duchess is aging prematurely because of the distress caused her by...

(The entire section is 785 words.)