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

Presentation of Escalus in Measure for Measure

Extracts from this document...


Throughout Measure for Measure Escalus can be seen to have two contrasting roles in the play. Many see him as a superficial, unimportant character that plays no significant role in the play, but by others he is seen to be a crucial character that has a major impact on the main plot. This essay will discuss these two views in detail and how they develop and express different approaches to the play. Escalus' name means scales and the title of the play Measure Fore Measure suggests that it is a play of balance and judgement. Throughout the play Escalus in many ways is often seen as a byword of rational justice in the play; "Well, heaven forgive him, and forgive us all Some rise by virtue and some by virtue fall ..." P21) Here he physically displays his role of a balancer by using rhyme and equal sentences, being someone who does not go to extremes and who gives reason. Some may argue that he is the character whose personality and ways are at mid-point between the Duke and his easy going and lenient conduct and Angelo's severe and strict discipline. ...read more.


Escalus at this point has much mare patience and offers them a chance to say what they have come to say without question, and gives out fair punishments showing righteousness and justice. From Reading the play, Escalus, in many ways could be seen to take the role of the narrator, pr�cising the movements and actions of characters and commenting on what is happening. For example, in the final act he expresses the audiences' view, possibly to ensure that Angelo's actions are apparent to everyone in the audience and to inform them how they should react to and feel about it. " I am sorry one so learned and so wise As you, Lord Angelo, have still appeared, Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood And lack of tempered judgement" (p100-1) Social snobbery could be seen within the character of Escalus when Pompey and Froth are brought before him. From the moment he finds out that Froth is a man of some wealth and a 'gentleman, he only provides him with a mild rebuke. ...read more.


At this point, he appears to be agreeing with the Dukes opinion, but how he carefully chooses his words may suggest something else; that no one in Vienna has the abilty and do not hold the worthiness and honour to take the role of the Duke into their hands (except for the reining Duke). Overall, Many argue that Escalus is one of the most important character that plays a major role the plays overall plot and meaning. This is shown through his attitude and the way he presents himself to the other character in the play and through the way he attempt to judge and balance things out with justice and honour. However, he could be seen to be the unimportant character that plays no significant role in the play. In many ways through how he can be seen as superficial, only concerned about the surface of matters and his appearance to others. In my opinion, Escalus plays a crucial role in Measure for Measure, and provides the play with some kind justice and honour, rather than deceitful actions and secrecy. Harriet Gardner Escalus 1 ...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."

    It is believed by this point that Claudio is dead and Isabella pleas to the Duke for justice; "Justice oh royal Duke!" The Duke pretends that he never actually was there and acts oblivious to what has gone on. Half way through the scene the Duke exits the stage and reappears dressed as Friar Lodowick, his alternative character.

  2. "Measure for Measure is a play without any truly sympathetic characters". To what extent ...

    The character of Isabella, simply described by many writers as a young girl of virtue and chastity, is one to whom the audience are initially inclined to be much more sympathetic towards. Her puritanical beliefs and intentions to join the nunnery at a young age, "but rather wishing a more

  1. Consider Act II of "Measure for Measure", with regard to ideas of Justice and ...

    activity between those who are unmarried but Juliet loves Claudio "as I love the women that wrong'd him". there is love between them and they should be married were it not for the dowry and death is unjustifiable in this case.

  2. The principalcharacters in 'Measure for Measure' are motivated by personal gain.' How far would ...

    director, drawing the appropriate performances from everyone and single-handedly achieving justice for all. But it must be remembered that he does much of this in order to bolster and secure his own position and notably, Isabella's hand in marriage- an audacious request from a man posing as the protector of her chastity.

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

    Angelo's character gives this impression and evidently the audience gradually begins to see the Duke as a politician. Shakespeare doesn't really introduce the Duke in a very friendly manner at the beginning of the play; hence we begin to form all types of conclusions about his character.

  2. Consider the Attitudes To Women Demonstrated In the Vienna of Measure For Measure.

    Were women allowed more independence and choice, Isabella would not be faced with two conflicting laws; her situation would be entirely different. Her helplessness is highlighted by the fact that it is the subordination by men that has led to her no-win predicament, yet it is only a man who

  1. William Shakespeare - The Comedy of errors - Dromio concludes the play - "We ...

    Antipholus of Syracuse meanwhile is portrayed to view him as Dromio of Syracuse. This becomes obvious to the audience in this scene and throughout the play by Shakespeare's order of events and speech. At the beginning of this, the First Merchant tells Antipholus of Syracuse to tell people he is

  2. What might modern audiences find dramatically interesting about the presentation of the Duke in ...

    "Therefore I prithee Supply me with the habit, and instruct me How I may formally in person bear Like a true friar" We don't see the Duke again until Act 2 Scene 3 where we learn that the Duke (dressed as a friar)

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