Critics have referred to the concept of Mariana taking Isabella's place in Angelo's bed "the bed trick." This plan of the Duke's, which is supposed to save Isabella, Claudio, and Mariana, appears to be almost corrupt and shameful, and is one of the reasons scholars consider Measure for Measure a problem play. What exactly is going on here with all of these characters? It seems almost uncharacteristic of the sweet, naïve, virginal Isabella to condone another performing such an act in her place. Isabella is, in a sense, asking Mariana to perform the very act which she has not only been avoiding, but that she is disgusted by. The fact that Isabella would accept the Duke's plan without question, which she does, has caused critics to question how saintly she actually is. The Duke has also been criticized for conducting and carrying out his plan. After all, he is the Duke, and he could have stopped Angelo and saved Mariana from having to sacrifice herself if he would have simply removed his disguise. It seems to be odd that a character the audience is expected to revere would not try to solve this problem by a more respectable, and much more simple, solution. Mariana has also been criticized for accepting her part in the action, because she is the character who commits the sin. Hence, the deception presented by these three "good" characters in the play is almost as corrupt as Angelo's deception. Why would Shakespeare do this? It appears that perhaps Shakespeare wanted to make all of his characters appear human. Angelo depicts a "holier-than-thou" persona and eventually falls because of it, Isabella is portrayed as a saintly virgin but here the audience sees she is also falli...
... middle of paper ...
This forenamed maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection. His unjust unkindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current, made it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo; answer his requiring with a plausible obedience; agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage, first, that your stay with him may not be long; that the time may have all shadow and sicken in it and the place answer to convenience. This being granted in course-and now follows all-we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place. If the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompense; and here, ,by this, is your brother saved, your honor untainted, the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. [III.iii.265-293].
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Comparing Heroes and Villains in Measure for Measure, Othello, and Hamlet According to John Steinbeck, "Heroes are innocent; villains are cunning." This statement likely regards the internal aspects of characters, such as intellect, reasoning/motivation, and morality/responsibility, as indicated by consistency in action and/or articulation, as in direct speech or soliloquy. An examination of the heroes and villains in Measure for Measure, Othello, and Hamlet can determine whether Steinbeck's generalization is applicable.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
2331 words (6.7 pages)
- The Virtuous Isabella in Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is not a celebration of family values, the play points towards both the political virtuosity, which sustains the comic, and the humbler self-knowledge that preserves the integrity of the virtuoso. Human virtue can only be chosen in freedom, but we need not deny ourselves the opportunity of ensuring that this choice is not stifled by the subtly related powers of abstract intellectualism and carnal necessity Isabella in Measure for Measure personifies innocent virtue.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1284 words (3.7 pages)
- Social Injustice in Measure for Measure Social justice is a topic known all to well in today's society. Such issues as social heirarchial structure and unjust representatives of citizens of nations are issues in need of attention by those in power. Corruption, lies and greed by those in power however stand in the way of this form of justice from occurring, leaving many with little or no social status open to prejudice on race, religious and sexual grounds. William Shakespeare illustrates the ease in which power can corrupt in his play, Measure for Measure.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
557 words (1.6 pages)
- Analysis of Acts V-VI of Measure for Measure One of the things that struck me as odd in Act V, Scene I is how Mariana seems to recognize the disguised Duke. I don't know if this means that the Duke has disguised himself as a friar in the past. Another thing that struck me odd in this scene is how soon Mariana agrees to the Duke's plan. Here is a stranger (Isabella) convincing a young woman (Mariana) to have sex under very mysterious circumstances with a man who has rejected her. The plan is very strange but Mariana agrees so quickly that its hard to see how it was possible for Isabella to give Mariana the full explanations of the reasons behind the ruse.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
665 words (1.9 pages)
- Morality in Measure for Measure Shakespeare's play, Measure for Measure, focuses on human morality. The play also explores the question of what kind of sexual conduct is socially acceptable, and what is not. The play depicts various attitudes toward prostitution, promiscuity, and premarital sex. But it also suggests that human laws and perhaps human morality are quite arbitrary and relative. Measure for Measure considers the need for statutes and laws to govern sexual appetites and ensure domestic tranquility.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
2108 words (6 pages)
- Abstinence and Orgy in Measure for Measure Many existing views of Measure for Measure seem intriguing but incomplete. They might reinforce our perception of this play as fragmented and baffling, because they do not integrate apparently conflicting outlooks presented in the play’s Vienna, and generated by the mysterious action of Vincentio. Notice how the following different interpretations display the conflicts: the extreme view proposed by Roy Battenhouse that the Duke stands for God (Rossiter 108-28); the modified position of Elizabeth Marie Pope that the Duke is a successful magistrate with divinely-delegated powers ("Renaissance" 66-82), almost in line with Eliade’s version of... [tags: Measure for Measure]
2585 words (7.4 pages)
- 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]
739 words (2.1 pages)
- 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]
1019 words (2.9 pages)
- The Good and Evil Angelo of Measure for Measure In Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Angelo emerges as a double-sided character. Scholars have argued for centuries whether or not Angelo is a moral character or an evil character. Those scholars who support the notion of Angelo as moral often cite the following facts: the Duke obviously trusts Angelo, Angelo is disheartened enough by the end of the play to offer a sincere apology, and Angelo tries to resist the temptation that Isabella presents. On the other hand, others have argued that Shakespeare depicts Angelo as a purely evil man. These critics emphasize Angelo's treatment of Marian, the Duke's possible suspicion... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1975 words (5.6 pages)
- Immorality and Corruption in Measure for Measure In ‘Measure for Measure’, Shakespeare demonstrates that there is an innate immorality and corruption in the heart of man. Shakespeare illustrates that power does not cause corruption. This is achieved by presenting the Duke, who has the most power in Vienna, as a moral hero, and conversely revealing the corruption of the powerless class through characters including Pompey, Mistress Overdone, and Barnadine. Through all this, Shakespeare uses Lord Angelo in Measure for Measure to show that immorality and corruption is innate in mankind.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1566 words (4.5 pages)