• 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 shock at the situation Claudio and Juliet are in before they are officially married further cements the notion that she is a sympathetic character, and also can be seen as to suggest that situations such as her brother's were not unfamiliar and not completely frowned upon and

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

    life, / Nature dispenses with the deed so far / That it becomes a virtue." The contrast between "sin" and "virtue" accentuates the contrast between his perception of the predicament and Isabella's. Claudio also overlooks that the church does not see nature as the overall decider of right and wrong.

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

    Shakespeare therefore never clearly defines what the audience should think; whether they should think that sex outside of marriage is a vice and that Angelo's strict new law is doing the3 right thing, or whether they should listen to Mistress Overdone's opinion that Claudio was 'worth five thousand' of his fellow sexual deviants.

  1. 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

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

    Authority and justice have faults themselves and she argues of the grave implications of using it too freely, it must be balanced with mercy as she says " it is excellent to have a giants strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant", giant being used to suggest little thought has gone into the decision itself.

  2. Comment on Shakespeare's conclusion to 'Measure for Measure'

    describes Angelo as having 'snow broth' blood implies that he is cold blooded. The audience are supposed to dislike him when he sentences Claudio to death, and most of all when he asks Isabella to sleep with him as he contradicts the fact that he feels so strongly about obeying the law.

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