• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Act One Scene One of Measure for Measure is a scene surrounded in ambiguity and complex character motives

Extracts from this document...


Act One Scene One ? The Dukes Departure Act One Scene One of ?Measure for Measure? is a scene surrounded in ambiguity and complex character motives. In this scene the Duke of Vienna meets with his aged advisor Esacalus to discuss his immediate and unexplained departure from Vienna and his plans to appoint Angelo to rule in his stead. The play simply starts with the Duke saying ?Esacalus?[1]. Using the noun in an almost imperative form is an indication of how much power the Duke really has and how much power the Duke will be handing over to someone as inexperienced as Angelo. This instantly begs the question why is he not leaving Escalus in charge? One opinion, which I support, is that the Duke is a Machiavellian Character who is hoping that Angelo fails so that when he returns the people will love him. ...read more.


This line, I believe, would be read in an almost sarcastic way as if he is mocking Angelo and the Duke. Once Angelo arrives; the Dukes tone, while no less powerful and demanding, becomes more focussed on flattering Angelo than it does demoralising Escalus. The Dukes attempts at flattery such as, ?Thyself and thy belongings are not thine own so proper as to waste?[4], promote the idea that the Duke really wants Angelo to take the position; perhaps he fears that if Angelo won?t then he will have to promote Escalus to the position instead. This section of the scene also introduces the idea and theme of Actions versus Words. This is primarily shown when Angelo says ?Let there be some more test made of my metal?[5] implying that, while he is simply employing fake modesty, he is saying he should be tested further before he is given this position. ...read more.


The Duke does however claim that he does ?not like to stage [himself] to their eyes?[8] but I believe this to be simple lies told by him to make himself look better and more modest in front of the other Lords, more people who he wants to love him. I believe this theory encompasses other plausible theories such as the idea that he is simply a bad leader and the theory that suggests he fears the people do not need a Duke anymore as through this theory the people would think him a great leader and they would realise that they did need a Duke. Due to this I believe it is the best theory to explain the Duke?s sudden departure. ________________ [1] Act One Scene One Line One (1.1.1) [2] 1.1.8 [3] 1.1.22-24 [4] 1.1.28-29 [5] 1.1.49 [6] 1.1.51 [7] 1.1.53-55 [8] 1.1.68 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Measure for Measure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Measure for Measure essays

  1. Discuss the theme of deception and disguise in the play "Measure for Measure."

    Shakespeare invented this incident and added it himself, as well as the character Mariana. Shakespeare could have done this for many reasons; he does, by doing this, effectually add heavily to the theme of deception in the play. This could have been to make the play more interesting or to

  2. Comment on Shakespeare's conclusion to 'Measure for Measure'

    Isabella does not in actual fact think about her decision on whether she will give her virtue in exchange for her brothers life, Claudio does contemplate the punishment when he slept with Juliet, Angelo does not think when he asks Isabella to sleep with him, and Lucio does not think about what he says when he abuses the Duke.

  1. How does Shakespeare show the theme of hypocrisy up to Act 4, Scene 3?

    By looking at it in this way it, can also be seen as no different to Claudio having sex with Juliet, as Marianna and Angelo were once engaged to be married. Despite this, it is still a great act of deception, which is not a quality that a nun, or a Duke for that matter, should possess.

  2. What do you find dramatically interesting about Shakespeare's presentation of the Duke in the ...

    Ultimately, the Duke decides to return home, however, he wishes to enter the city on the exact antithesis that he left in. he thanks Escalus and Angelo for their noble work, but then is approached by Isabella and asked to grant "justice, justice, justice, justice!".

  1. Shakespeare Uses Imagery to create both Characters and Their Environment. Show how he does ...

    This ascertain that evil always reveals itself, no matter how it is respectably disguised does prove true for Angelo in the end when he is dealt justice by The Duke on his return. Power, it's affects on those who use it and to what ends they use it is also a premise central to Measure for Measure.

  2. "Explore Shakespeare's portrayal of The Duke and Angelo and the consequent nature of their ...

    The broken speech is also shown by, "The tempter or the tempted who sins most? /Ha?" Clearly Angelo is searching and scrambling around for some kind of an answer or even some reassurance, but the "Ha?" sounds almost strangled. His torment is to be seen in his relentless self-questioning: "What are thou, Angelo?

  1. Analysis of Act 1 Scene 1 of Measure for Measure.

    and ' I love the people' although he seems to be dismayed by the by the decay in his city and wishes to reform it. The Duke speaks with formal, somewhat legalistic language of a ruling, noble figure.

  2. Discuss how Shakespeare uses language and dramatic techniques for character development in Act 2 ...

    her only fault was not securing a marriage contract before she slept with her fiancée. She is actually a woman of strength and principle, not the simple sinner that Angelo’s developing harsh, cruel character reduces her to. Isabella comes to see Angelo innocently, as shy as she appeared in her

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work