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Paying close attention to the language, tone and action of the passage, show how it contributes to your understanding of Isabella and Claudio's relationship

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Mikhail Rodricks 13 Stevens A2 English "Paying close attention to the language, tone and action of the passage, show how it contributes to your understanding of Isabella and Claudio's relationship." In William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure", the characters, and the manner in which they interact, play a critical part of the overall tone and atmosphere of the plot. One of the character's most important functions is to provide action in the scene, and insight into the various relationships that appear throughout the play, this is evident in the exchange we witness between Isabella and Claudio in Act Three, Scene one. Both characters are of considerable significance within the play, so it is interesting to note how their actions will shape the remainder of the plot. Shortly before the beginning of Act three's drama, we see Isabella confronted by Angelo, where he proposes the question, "which had you rather, that the most just law now took your brothers life, or to redeem him give up your body to such sweet uncleanness as she that he hath stained?" ...read more.


From the point of her entry, we can sense a shift in the mood on the scene. There is a heightened feeling of suspense and anticipation as she continues to elude Claudio's questioning of the required act itself. During this time, Claudio is gradually getting frustrated, this frustration soon turns to brashness, "If I must die, I will encounter darkness as a bride and hug it in mine arms." When Isabella finally yields to Claudio the term of his freedom, his initial reaction is of disgust, "Thou shalt not do't". Soon after, we as the audience gain an insight into the workings of Claudio's and essentially man's mind, for it is the human condition to be fearful of death. We can see that Isabella and Claudio differ quite significantly when it comes to moral grounds. Fornication in Claudio's mind is "the least" of the seven deadly sins, whereas Isabella clearly places her religious piety above all others. One gets the feeling that if Isabella had stated the proposition without delay, she would have not left Claudio in an excited and hasty state, and perhaps he would have given the proposition less thought. ...read more.


Furthermore, it is interesting that amidst this power struggle, similarities in each other's character emerges, for while it may seem that they do not share the same views, in reality neither is willing to be a martyr for the other's beliefs. The Duke, in the disguise of a friar's habit, offers an end to the intense conflict that has taken course, with an alternate plan of events. The relationships that characters possess are crucial to the overall theme of the play, for many, if not all of the questions raised in 'Measure for Measure' are in fact questions on human nature. In essence act three, scene one encompasses perhaps the central theme, a question of morals, love and religion. In their dialect we see Isabella give greater weight to religion over love when it comes to Claudio's life, perhaps the fact that Shakespeare rather abruptly ends the conversation suggests that this question in particular is one of great consequence and importance. For instead of giving us a clear answer, he leaves the problem open, and somewhat free to personal belief and opinion. ...read more.

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