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Presentation of Escalus in Measure for Measure

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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.

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