Bosola is cetainly a complex character painted in The Duchess of Malfi by john webster. His full name is Daniel de Bosola. He is essentially a good man but he does not realise his own goodness. In the play, he acts the role of a villain. He appears to be a villain and pitiless murderer.He wanted to become a man of rank and power. But circumstances did not permit him to realize his ambition. He is a profound scholar.He had once burnt the midnight oil to achieve his aspirations. Instead of a scholar , Bosola feel in love with cardinal and become his tool.
Bosola plays a triple role in the play, ‘The Duchess of Malfi’. He is a malcontent mediator, a tool villain and an avenger. He is also satirist. There is ample evidence of his intelligent in the play. He met Cardinal and committed murder at his instance.
Bosola becomes the tool villain of ferdinand. Now he appears to be a perfect villain. He works as the spy of ferdinand.Nothing can be more dishonorable than the work of spy. He knows it well.He sends secret information to Ferdinand and betrays the secret of Duchess. He does not hesitate to kill Cariol and the litte kids of Duchess. By mistake, he kills antinio too. Thus he works as a villain in the play.
But this is not real character of Bosola. Ferdinand offers him gold when he employes him. Bosola refuses to take it. Because he knows that Ferdinand is bribing him to do something villainous. so he refuses to take it.
Yet he takes bribe.He also takes dishonorable job offered by Ferdinand. But he is not really bad man. Circumstances compel him to become. He has suffered much from poverty . So he can not refuse a tempting offer.
In the Duchess of Malfi, Bosola plays a role of spy and murderer. But at the end of play, he plays a role of noble and avenger.so his role is significant. He keeps a link between Ferdinand and Duchess. He sends massage from Malfi to Rome.He arrests duchess and brings her to Ferdinand. He is also responsible for the death of Ferdinand and Cardinal. So he becomes the symbol of the victory of Duchess.
From the above discussion, we can say that Bosola is a complex character.