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

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?

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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."

    Instead of executing Claudio, the Duke/friar helped the Provost and Pompey shave a prisoner called Ragozine and send it instead. It was a co-incidence that this prisoner had just died and looked strangely like Claudio, enough to fool Angelo. It is revealed at the end to Angelo that he was deceived because Claudio is in fact still alive.

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

    her lack of harsh judgement of the pair, despite it contradicting her strong religious morals, reveals a level of compassion that is very rarely seen elsewhere within Measure for Measure. Lord Angelo, the harsh deputy appointed by the Duke is a character who is perhaps the most complex throughout the

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

    Isabella: Then Isobel live chaste and brother die: More than our brother is our chastity Ultimately, for Isabella there is no escape. Even her brother does not understand her reasoning behind the choice to sacrifice his life for control of her own: "What sin you do to save a brother's

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

    Lucio makes a novelty, perceptive comments upon the Duke's needless disappearance, because as long as there is "eating and drinking" there will be sin, for people are naturally disposed to fall at times. This leads us to question the most basic reason behind the Duke's temporary abdication: is it an

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

    It does take Isabella some time to get to this point in the scene since she begins rather hesitantly giving in almost saying things like "Just but severe law", saying that she believes that justice should prevail agreeing and resigning, only taking up the lance once again when Lucio beckons her to do so.

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

    to be shut but "though you change your place you need not to change your trade" at this point the people do not realise how very wrong they are. The incidents following the conversation between the gentlemen and Mistress Overdone as well as the arrests of Claudio and Juliet reflects appallingly on the Duke's rein over the City.

  1. How far and in what ways do the opening three scenes constitute a suitably ...

    or to show the weighing up of the coins, of judging weighed up with kindness. It shows how deeply the Duke is aware of the double meaning of his actions, and how they therefore are being perceived by the outside world.

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

    This is done for humorous purposes towards the audience. This is when Dromio starts to think that his master is going mad, as he does not know hat he is talking about. "Hold, sir, for god's sake; now your jest is earnest. Upon what bargain do you give it me?"

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