Both of the above quotations have elements of truth to them, but I think that to look at the character of Bosola, an audience would concentrate more on his actions and how they change his interpretation of the brothers, causing him to kill them at the end of the play. There are many layers to Bosolas character which encourage us to think that he is mentally unstable, e.g. killing the Duchess for his own self-interest as well as for the brothers. This does not make him a corrupt human being, but someone who has been forced into a corner, unsure of his actual status. Neither quote defines his change of self and portrays Bosola as a particular human being instead of one who transforms as a result of the corrupt society around him. He moves from our first impressions a murderer who is only out for himself, living off the death of others, to a man who seems to be a lost member of society trying to find his way in a world where money and greed take over. Bosola is seen the play as `Malcontent', a person unhappy with society, as well as with his position within that society. Webster has created a character that never knows where he stands in regard with society. He is challenged, and to a certain extent controlled by the brothers who are only out for their own self interest, but unfortunately by the time Bosola realises their nature it is too late to right the wrongs for which he has committed.
We first see Bosola near the start of the play when he has returned from the `galleys' after a prison sentence for murder. In his language he conveys his emotional state and the anguish he has been put through whilst being locked away.
`I fell into the galleys in your service, where, for two years together, I wore two towels instead of a shirt, with a knot on the shoulder, after the fashion of a Roman mantle................ blackbirds fatten best in hard weather; why not I, in these dog- days?' (I.i.34)
This speech of Bosolas already establishes that he is `most recognisably human' by the way he shows his sarcasm and humour even in his bleak circumstances. However, his sarcastic tone may have created itself during his imprisonment, showing that he has rebuilt himself as someone who wants to be the controller, not the controlled.
After the introduction and development of other characters Ferdinand calls for Bosola. His intention is to use Bosola to spy on his younger sister, the Duchess, who has recently become a widow. Ferdinand wants to control his sister to stop her from re-marrying. It is unclear at this point that his wishes fall deeper than just spying, but at this point Bosola is unaware of this and accepts the position, even though he calls himself Ferdinands `creature'. Webster uses animal imagery in regard to society comparing animals to people of a lower status. Bashir's quote emphasises the point that Bosolas inconsistency as a character contributes to his conversion in the play, making the audience scream silently, in need of some...