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

presentation of Isabella in Measure for Measure

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Throughout the Measure For Measure Shakespeare presents Isabella as an innocent victim of male desires and exploitation. However, some may argue that she is a worldly woman who is capable of taking care of herself and not been dependant on others. This essay will discuss these assertions and how far they can be justified by the text of the play and it will show the judgement, which I have made towards Shakespeare's choice of character. In his attempt to exploit Isabella, Angelo uses blackmail to get her to sleep with him in return for the rescue of brother from his proposed execution. She does motivate his lust towards her, but does not physically do anything to provoke it, he Angelo admits himself in his soliloquy at the end of act two scene two; "Nor she nor doth she tempt; but it is I That, lying by the violet sun, Do as the carrion does, not as the flower, Corrupt with virtuous season..." ...read more.

Middle

However, she only does this at the instruction of the Duke, and does seem to become more in thrall to men as the play progresses. On the other hand, many argue that Isabella is sexually repressed. Her character is the centre of all sexual desires and the plays sexual plot line, attracting both e Angelo and the Duke and getting herself involved in the 'Bed trick. She is the one that encourages Marianna to take her role in the 'bed trick' and sleep with Angelo, subjecting another women to the sexual fate she so fervently defends herself against. Her decision to enter the convent is never explained. By many nuns are stereotypically seen as being sexually repressed women; however, Isabella is a beautiful young women who would presumably have no problems wit getting a husband, and so becoming a nun must have been a choice of her own. Many may argue that Isabella is running away, desiring to escape the problems and pressures of real life, rather than as a considered result of her piety. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lucio in act one, refers to her as "a thing enskied and ensainted" (pg18), proposing her saint like qualities. Saints can be seen from two different approaches, one that they are views as passive victims, and their innocence is exploited by the evil, sacrificed for their virtue. And secondly, they can be seen as assertive characters that are not afraid to express their views and feelings and live their life according to their beliefs, which many would argue is what Isabella is facing. She can also be viewed as very cold and unemotional. Lucio states this several times throughout the play; "you are too cold". This could imply that she is does not require support from others and that she is self contained and holds self-possession and emotional distance. One the other hand it could suggest that she id totally feeble and uncertain of herself. Isabella's character is extremely important to the plays plot. Some see her as a victim and some as a woman who can look after herself. I believe that Isabella is in some cases a victim of male desires but yet at other times she is not. Harriet Gardner Isabella 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."

    This is the Duke playing on extreme theatricality. The Duke has lied a lot throughout out the play and has been a very manipulative character. He managed to construct the bed trick plan and ensure the play went the way he wanted.

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

    we are uncertain of the tone of voice he uses whether it is of a friar or that of a machiavellian Duke. The fact that he notifies Juliet that Claudio must die makes him appear as a more problematic character then ever.

  1. Measure for Measure: The fault of Isabella is that she is excessively pious and ...

    with Angelo, and therefore gives no inclination of accepting the proposal for the sake of Claudio's life. Indeed she again only continues to think about the affect the act will have on her character, therefore again supporting the view that she is too proud of her status and excessively pious.

  2. Critics have often seen Vincentio, the Duke in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure, as ...

    It also concentrates on the changes brought about by the shifting of power. Angelo, for example, having vowed to serve the law, moves away from his purpose the moment he sees Isabella, and in Act II, Scene ii, he reflects upon his situation; Is this her fault, or mine?

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

    If the Duke is using his own ideals as a guide, this is similarly as worrying since he is the ruler of the city and has the superseding voice. The exploitative nature of the men in Vienna is shown by the treatment of both Isabella and Mariana by Angelo and the Duke throughout the play.

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

    back then to grasp all his ideas immediately, with the result that we find imagery that repeats itself again and again, then connects itself with other images in an almost infinite cycle. If Shakespeare's plays were in fact tapestries, then certain coloured threads would be found weaving in and out of it, just like certain images.

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

    Like Angelo the Duke has two sides to his personality, however he isn't affected by a divided self and therefore can act freely rather than come up against himself as Angelo does.

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

    theme that is constantly present through the play, that of appearance versus reality. Although Juliet appears from Angelo?s quick appraisal to be just a sinful person, her reality is far more complex; she is much better than most women of the time, she is not a prostitute or adulterer, rather

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