• 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. 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.

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

    for impregnating his fianc´┐Że, the moral responsibility of the action is placed on the woman. Duke: So then it seems your most offenceful act Was mutually committed. Juliet: Mutually. Duke: Then was your sin of a heavier kind than his.

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

    He also informs the friar that he has handed over his authority to "A man of stricture and firm abstinence, My absolute power and place here in Vienna" (Act 1 Scene 3) The Duke's disguise from Duke to friar is very surprising to the audience we see the way the

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

    "And fetch the chain; by this I know't is made: Bring it, I pray you, to the Porpentine; for there's the house: that chain I bestow. Be it for nothing but to spite my wife." This is stating that Antipholus of Ephesus plans to take the chain to a local prostitute instead of his wife in order to spite her.

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

    It is never right to pretend to be someone else. Even is he feels he must do this, he should be doing this as discreetly as possible, not parading around abusing trust and power. In Act 3 Scene 1 the Duke is, again, at the prison.

  1. 'Bear the Sword of Heaven': Does the Duke strike you as a wholly good ...

    anxious for the welfare of the state' but conversely I can understand that it is necessary as it gives the Duke a platform for his own reforms and enables him to start more significantly as he re-establishes his reign. There also has to be a certain amount of cruelty in

  2. More than our brother is our chastity How far do you find yourself able ...

    Similarly, in John Webster?s ?The Duchess of Malfi? The Duchess is portrayed as character who breaks the traditional Elizabethan revenge plot by to speak and act with the freedom of normal, albeit impulsive human beings.

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