Measure For Measure Angelo Essay Writer

Spoiler Alert! Close your eyes if you don't want us to ruin the ending for you...

Anyone familiar with Shakespeare's comedies knows what to expect at the end of the play – wedding bells. In the case of Measure for Measure, we get a quadruple dose: Angelo is forced to marry the girl he once jilted, Claudio is pardoned and free to marry his baby mama (Juliet), Lucio is ordered to marry the mother of his illegitimate child, and the Duke proposes to Isabella.

Does this mean everyone lives happily ever after? Not so much. Even though the Duke makes a big show out of how "joy[ful]" it is that so many couples are pairing up, Measure for Measure offers one of the most artificial (and controversial) "happily ever after" conclusions in Western literature.

Although Claudio is happy to escape execution and be reunited with Juliet, for Lucio, marriage seems worse than the death penalty. When the Duke orders him to marry the mother of his child, he declares "Marrying a punk [prostitute], my lord, is pressing to death, / whipping, and hanging" (5.1.596-597). Angelo's response to his forced marriage is just as poignant. When he is ordered to marry Mariana, Angelo obeys the Duke but says absolutely nothing.

What's even more astonishing is the way the Duke proposes (or propositions) Isabella immediately after revealing that her brother is alive and well:

If he be like your brother, for his sake
Is he pardoned; and, for your lovely sake,
Give me your hand and say you will be mine

The Duke obviously feels that he's doing Isabella a huge favor by 1) pardoning her fornicating brother and 2) offering to marry her. Still, Isabella is completely silent.

Is she speechless because she's overjoyed at the proposal? Or, is she silent because she's been propositioned (for the second time) by yet another powerful man?

At the play's beginning, Isabella was about to take a final vow that would make her a nun. Has she changed her mind, or not? Shakespeare wants you to decide. If she is happy about the Duke's offer, then she's undergone one heck of a transformation. If she hasn't changed her mind about being a nun, then Isabella is being victimized here.

Just imagine if you were a director or the actor/actress playing the role of Isabella. How would you stage these final moments?

The Good and Evil Angelo of Measure for Measure Essay

1986 Words8 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 of Angelo, his desire for Isabella, and his…show more content…

Furthermore, Escalus, an elderly Lord whom the Duke also has great faith in, praises Angelo alongside the Duke: "If any in Vienna be of worth/ To undergo such ample grace an honor/ It is Lord Angelo." The Duke also gives praise to Angelo:


There is a kind of character in they life

That to the observer doth thy history

Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings

Are not thine own so proper as to waste

Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.

Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,

Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues

Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

As if we had them not.

This speech demonstrates that the Duke thinks of Angelo as a torch that burns not for the enjoyment of itself, but for the enjoyment of those around it.

In Act I, scene iii, the Duke further emphasizes his faith in Angelo. The Duke feels that he has: "Give[n] the people scope,/ "Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them/ For what I bid them do." Hence, because the Duke recognizes that he has made mistakes as a ruler, he has enough faith in Angelo to leave him in charge to clean up his mistakes. He feels Angelo will be sterner than him, and will also do a better job of getting the people to abide by laws. The Duke's actions suggest that he trusts Angelo as a ruler, and has enough faith in Angelo to

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