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. Measure for Measure is a unique opportunity to investigate the personality types of the characters involved in the conflict, and the study of these complex characters can give meaningful insights into the nature of human emotion and action.
Angelo's job is to take over in government while the Duke investigates his own character and those of others disguised as a friar. Whilst Angelo is in power, his will, ironically is in direct conflict with the law he is trying to uphold. He propositions chaste Isabella to engage in sexual activity in exchange for the life of her brother who is to be executed because of his sexual indiscretions. It can be perhaps seen that Angelo is not an inherently evil character, that he feel from ...
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...with temptation." These are lessons that can apply to everyone.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Black, James. "The Unfolding of Measure for Measure." Shakespeare Survey 26 (1973): 119-28.
Leech, Clifford. "The 'Meaning' of Measure for Measure." Shakespeare Survey 3 (1950): 69-71.
Shakespeare, William. Measure for Measure. The Arden Shakespeare. Ed. J.W. Lever. London: Routledge, 1995.
Thomas, Vivian. Understandning Angelo in Measure for Measure. London: Croom Helm, 1987.
Wilders, John. "The Problem Comedies." In Wells, Stanley, ed. Shakespeare: Select Bibliographical Guides. London: Oxford UP, 1973.
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