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Using only act 1 of measure for measure, describe the state of Vienna at the beginning of the play. What do you think of the situation of a) the duke, b) Angelo in this act?

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Introduction

5th November '02 Lyndsey Paterson Measure For Measure Using only act 1 of measure for measure, describe the state of Vienna at the beginning of the play. What do you think of the situation of a) the duke, b) Angelo in this act? Although act 1 is a relatively short one, the audience is made aware of the current state of Vienna. In scene two Lucio, Gent 1 and Gent 2 discuss prostitution within Vienna. Shakespeare uses the three characters to transfer this information to the audience. We are told that several brothels situated on the outskirts of the city and have simply moved to a new location and acquired the title of 'bath house' in order to avoid closure. The jokes at the beginning of scene 2 and the re-0ccuring references to se suggest that sexual activity is an indicator as to the popularity of sex and the sex trade with the confinements of the city. ...read more.

Middle

By doing this, we, as the audience, assume that he sincerely likes and has faith in Angelo. The Duke comes across initially as being a level headed man who appears to have sympathetic, understanding nature. He tells Lord Angelo in scene 1 that as a duke "mortality and mercy in Vienna live in thy tongue, and heart", this, dim my view, is his subtle way of telling Angelo that he should incorporate his own beliefs and values when using the justice system, and to use his initive. By the time the play reaches scene 3 of act 1, it is made clear to the reader that the Duke has an ulterior motive to his assigning his authority to Angelo. Not much information is actually given away about the Duke, as he only appears in two of the four scenes, both of which are conversational scenes that give away little of the Duke's personality. ...read more.

Conclusion

baby, it is implied to the audience that Angelo is making an example, this is going against all advice given to him by the Duke as he is only thinking with his head and is not incorporating his heart. This gives off a pre-conception of a cold-hearted man and sets his up as the 'baddy' of the play at this point and appears to be showing off his newfound power. The other characters in the play pick up on this cold-heartedness and describe him as being "a man whose blood is snowbrooth; who never feels the wanten strings and motions of the senses". In my opinion, this is a relatively accurate description of the man portrayed by Angelo at up until this point of the play. Angelo's attitude until the end of act 1 regarding his authority is a some what arrogant one, Angelo himself does nothing apparent to suggest otherwise, again this reflects badly on him as a person as well as an authority figure. ...read more.

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