Duchess Of Malfi Scene by Scene Summary (with quotes)


Duchess of Malfi Summary


1.1 (pg 135)

Antonio tells Delio about the French court.

Bosola talks to the Cardinal and then to Antonio and Delio.

Antonio and Delio discuss Bosola.

‘flattering sycophants’ (Ambition)

‘Some cursed example poison’t near the head,

 Death and disease through the whole land spread’

‘court-gall’ (Bosola)

‘I fell into the galleys in your service’ (Bosola/Cardinal)

‘this great fellow were able to possess the greatest devil and make him worse’   (Cardinal)

‘He and his brother are like plum trees that grow crooked over standing pools: they are rich and o’erladen with fruit, but none by crows, pies and caterpillars feed on them.’ (Cardinal/Ferdinand)

‘Who would rely upon these miserable dependencies in expectation to be advanced tomorrow?’ (Ambition)

‘’Tis great pity

 He should be thus neglected. I have heard

 He’s very valiant. This foul melancholy

 Will poison all his goodness.’ (Bosola)

1.2 (pg 140)

Ferdinand enters with Courtiers mocking Castruccio.

Cardinal and the Duchess enter; Antonio describes them all.

Cardinal tells Ferdinand to use Bosola for intelligence.

Ferdinand persuades Bosola to work for him.

Cardinal and Ferdinand warn Duchess not to remarry.

Duchess tells Cariola to hide and talks to Antonio.

Duchess and Antonio marry.

‘Methinks that you courtiers

 Should be my touchwood: take fire when I give fire’ (Ferdinand)

‘melancholy churchman’ (Cardinal)

‘The spring in his face is nothing but the engendering of toads.’ (Cardinal)

‘he strews in his way flatterers, panders, intelligencers, atheists and a thousand such political monsters.’ (Cardinal)

‘He should have been Pope, but, instead of coming to it by the primitive decency of the church, he did bestow bribes so largely and so impudently as if he would have carried it away without heaven’s knowledge.’ (Cardinal)

‘perverse and turbulent nature’ (Ferdinand)

‘You never cast your eye on three fair medals

 Cast in one figure so different temper’ (Duchess/Ferdinand/Cardinal)

‘Her days are practised in such noble virtue

 That, sure, her nights – nay more, her very sleeps –

 Are more in heaven than other ladies’ shrifts.’ (Duchess)

‘Let all sweet ladies break their flattering glasses

 And dress themselves in her’ (Duchess)

‘I would not be seen in’t’ (Cardinal)

‘His nature is too honest for such business’ (Antonio)

‘There’s no more credit to be given to th’ face

 Than to a sick man’s urine’ (Deception)

‘Distrust doth cause us seldom be deceived’ (Deception)

‘Whose throat must I cut?’ (Bosola)

‘I would not have her marry again’ (Ferdinand)

‘quaint invisible devil, in flesh –

 An intelligencer’ (Bosola)

‘Take your devils,

 Which hell calls angels: these cursed gifts would make

 You a corrupter, me an impudent traitor;

 And, should I take these, they’d take me to hell’ (Bosola)

‘the provisorship o’th’ horse’ (Bosola)

‘Say then my corruption

 Grew out of horse dung.’ (Bosola)

‘your own discretion

 Must now be your director’ (Duchess)

‘You are a widow.

 You know already what man is’ (Duchess)

‘They are most luxurious



Jennifer Silva


Short, easy to remember quotes. Thank you for this!