A gentleman of birth who keeps company with pimps, bawds, and whores. Lucio is a flip, light-minded young man, more interested in tossing off a quip than in justice, friendship, or honesty. Although he comes to Claudio's assistance by making his difficulties known to Isabella, he seems to enjoy his role as cheerleader when she makes her plea to Angelo. He blithely gives evidence against Pompey and even testifies against Isabella in the final scene. An almost conscienceless joker, he provides the audience with much humor in the form of slanders against the duke, which he unwittingly addresses to the duke himself. Lucio's familiarity with the characters of the underworld and society alike makes him an effective link, tying the plot and subplot together.