Lucio is a fop well-acquainted with brothels, who turns everything to dirty jokes.
He has a bastard son by one of the prostitutes at Mistress Overdone’s, a fact he has denied in court for fear of being made to marry the mother. An egotist, he cannot resist thrusting himself into the spotlight. He is friendly to everyone he meets and speaks a great deal of his close links to the powerful, but cannot stop himself from slandering everyone the moment they are out of sight, up to and including the Duke, with the exception of Claudio, whose friend he is. He refuses to bail out Pompey, and informs on Mistress Overdone, with the result that both are carted off to jail. He is not the most pleasing of people; but it must be remembered that he does go, at Claudio’s request, to tell Isabella of her brother’s condemnation and to ask her to plead for his life to Angelo, and gives her good advice on how to do so – even if the result of this is not exactly what he and Claudio had in mind.