Measure For Measure Is Considered Shakespeare 's Problem Play Essay examples

Measure For Measure Is Considered Shakespeare 's Problem Play Essay examples

Length: 1048 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

It is clear why Measure for Measure is considered Shakespeare’s problem play. With corrupt officials, disguised identities and life or death decisions, it seems that there is no peace in the town of Vienna. The one overarching theme of Measure for Measure is death. It ties all aspects of the play together. Not only in the specified passage, but also throughout the entirety of Measure for Measure, Shakespeare demonstrates that a moral death is equivalent and sometimes more dangerous than a literal death.
The chosen passage begins with the Duke coming to comfort Claudio about his impending death and ends with Isabella attempting to explain to her brother why he must die and how there is no other option. Right at the start of the passage, the Duke enters dressed as a friar. This is one of the first instances where we see the Duke disguised. His speech to Claudio about death, claiming, “Be absolute for death; either death or life shall thereby be the sweeter” (Shakespeare 147) is a prime example of the Duke beginning to pull strings and manipulate the characters. For in this instance, it is clear that the Duke is beginning to formulate his own plan. After his decision to eavesdrop on Claudio and Isabella’s conversation, it solidifies the Dukes role as the only all-knowing character in the play. The Duke is truly the only character that knows what it is fully going on. His influence, not only on other characters, but on situations throughout the play, is the force that continually drives the play forward.
Looking at the end of the given passage, the exchange between siblings Claudio and Isabella is a heated one. The purpose of the scene it to solidify the severity of what Angelo is asking Isabella to do. Before this passage begins, ...


... middle of paper ...


...representing honor and righteousness, while Claudio embodying the physical torment that death can bring.
After thorough analysis of the given passage, it is clear that the debate between Claudio and Isabella is not a sibling argument. It is a depiction of death expressed in two different manners. Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure compares the clashing nature of the significance of a moral, figurative death and a literal, actual death. Not only is this done by creating it as the central conflict in the play, but also by personifying the different types of deaths through the characters Isabella and Claudio. The role the church had on theatre and playwrights at the time contributed to the social commentary on irreligious subjects such as these. In the end, it is clear that Shakespeare wanted to express that a death of the soul was just as dire as a death to the body.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Measure for Measure Essay: The Pontification of Isabella

- The Pontification of Isabella in Measure for Measure      Within Measure for Measure the character of Isabella is characterized as an innocent pure female, and there is a focus on her ever-present moral dilemma. By using Elizabethan perspectives on women, nuns, and chastity, Shakespeare uses Isabella to reveal character traits and morality of those around her.  However in opposition Isabella made be seen as an individual who pontificates too much when her brother’s life is at stake, it is perhaps easier for Isabella to suffer the condemnation of a modern audience....   [tags: Measure for Measure]

Better Essays
1126 words (3.2 pages)

Measure for Measure Essay: The Virtuous Vanity of Isabella

- The Virtuous Vanity of Isabella in Measure for Measure        Shakespeare's work, Measure for Measure, puts the "problem" in "problem play" as it, examines the difference between law and justice, virtue and goodness. It's a case study of abuse of power that has a particularly contemporary resonance.  Isabella is a very intriguing Shakespearean female. She is one of the few intelligent females who are also innocent and holy. Measure for Measure focuses primarily on her moral dilemma. Does she save her brother and give up her valued chastity or does she save her own soul while allowing her brother to die....   [tags: Measure for Measure]

Better Essays
1498 words (4.3 pages)

Unity of Opposites in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Essay

- Unity of Opposites in Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is an English play written by the famous playwright William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptized) – 23 April 1616) in around 1603. The first publication of the play is originally in the First Folio of 1623 (where it was for the first time categorized as a comedy), while the play's first recorded performance was in the year 1604. Measure for Measure deals with many religious, political and humanistic issues, such as mercy, justice, and truth and their relationship to pride and humility, as it is said, "Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall"....   [tags: Shakespeare, Keepdown, defiance]

Better Essays
2051 words (5.9 pages)

The Importance Of A Teacher Is Considered Good Or Bad? Essay

- Yawar Baig once said, “Teaching is not about answering question but about raising questions—opening doors for them in places that they could not imagine.” With twelve years of grade schooling, I have noticed teachers who will go to all ends to make sure students are learning and then other who could care less. However, the ineffectiveness of those teachers have overshadowed the success of effective teachers. This has led to many states depending on state regulated test to determine the evaluation and efficiency of a teacher....   [tags: Education, School, Standardized test, Teacher]

Better Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

IQ Tests are Not an Accurate Measure of a Person's Intelligence Essay

- IQ tests are not an accurate measure of a person's intelligence. I will be analyzing the reasons why I think that IQ tests are not an accurate measure of the intelligence. These reasons will be accompanied with solid proven facts that will discount the accuracy that is falsely considered to be a part of IQ tests. Today IQ tests are a part of many instances where intelligence is being judged. Not an accurate measure The test that has today evolved as the IQ test was initially designed by Sir Francis Galton....   [tags: Intelligence]

Better Essays
880 words (2.5 pages)

Childhood Obesity : A Serious Health Problem Essay

- Overweigh and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that present a risk to health (world health organization 2016). Childhood obesity is a serious health problem in the united states that affects youth regardless of gender, age, race or ethnic group and continues to affect about 31.8% youth age 2 to 19 (center for disease and control 2016). Body mass index {BMI} is a measure used to determined childhood overweight and child with BMI above 95% is considered obese (CDC 2016)....   [tags: Obesity, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus]

Better Essays
1378 words (3.9 pages)

The Problem of Poverty in Famine, Affluence, and Morality by Peter Singer

- Peter Singer is often regarded as one of the most productive and influential philosophers of modern times. He is well-known for his discussions of the acute social, economic, and political issues, including poverty and famines. In his “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, Singer (1972) discusses the problem of poverty and hunger, as well as the way this problem is treated in the developed world. Singer believes that charity is inseparable from morality, and no distinction can be drawn between charity and duty....   [tags: charity, philosophy, duty]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Exploring Morality in Measure for Measure Essay

- Exploring Morality in Measure for Measure    In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare is able to examine the concept of right and wrong through the characters of Mistress Overdone and Mariana. Throughout the play, by using characters that most people would find morally reprehensible, Shakespeare is able to give the audience a different view of these people and, hopefully, show his audience that people aren't always what they appear to be. Through the character of Mistress Overdone, Shakespeare is able to bring a jovial side to the oldest job known to man -- prostitution....   [tags: Measure for Measure]

Better Essays
739 words (2.1 pages)

Measure for Measure Essay: Angelo

- Angelo in Measure for Measure       Within Measure for Measure, the character of Angelo can be seen as a case study of will over moral nature. Angelo, a deputy, is given the Dukes authority to act in his behalf while the Duke is away. The story unfolds as Angelo uses the agency he's been given in ways that many men in authoritative positions have done. It is interesting to follow his line of thought and to realize that this is a man who is not unlike many others. The main conflict between Isabella and Angelo is a contemporary problem....   [tags: Measure for Measure]

Better Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

The Character Elbow in Shakespeare's Play, Measure for Measure Essay

- The Character Elbow in Shakespeare's Play, Measure for Measure In Act 2, scene 1 of the play Measure for Measure the character Elbow, a representation of the "Comedic Constable" often depicted in William Shakespeare's comedies and traji-comedies, gives the director an unusual creative license in portraying this figure to give the audience a rich theatrical experience. (Evans 427) These characters are most commonly depicted as "artless, inadequate, naïve, and prosaic men who bumble through their official duties, sublimely unaware of their blunders, intent upon fulfilling their offices even when they are not really sure just what those offices are." (Evans 427) They are honest men as well...   [tags: Measure for Measure Essays]

Better Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)