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

How does Shakespeare represent corruption on a political, social and religious level in the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Shakespeare represent corruption on a political, social and religious level in the play? Shakespeare represents corruption in a number of aspects in the play Measure for Measure. The play itself tends to revolve around corruption, and Shakespeare portrays the setting, Vienna, as being rife with it. As the play continues Shakespeare reveals how his play is riddled with corruption of all forms. All of the characters of the play are involved, in some way or another, with corruption. The audience is first introduced to the Duke, Escalus and then Angelo. Shakespeare gives no reason to believe that the audience is being deceived in anyway, but as the play continues we find out that the purpose for the Duke giving Angelo power was not as we first thought. We at first believed that the Duke merely thought Angelo was the best man for the job but we then find out in Act 1, Scene 3 that the Duke is testing Angelo. ...read more.

Middle

As a Nun Isabella would also have, presumably, deemed what Claudio and Juliet did as wrong, however she sets aside her beliefs in order to try and save her brother. Isabella tries to convince Angelo to look at the fault and not who committed it , Isabella: 'I do beseech you, let it be his fault, And not my brother' Act 2, Scene 2, lines 35 & 36. Pompey exposes how ridiculous the new law created by Angelo is. Shakespeare also shows religious corruption through Angelo. The audience is led to presume that the play is set in a Catholic area. They might presume this because of a number of ideas such as Isabella wanting to become a nun. Therefore, presumably, the Duke would have ruled as a Catholic leader. When Angelo is given power though, he changes the way that the Duke has run Vienna and replaces it with Puritan rules. ...read more.

Conclusion

Corruption is a big part of the play Measure for Measure and as a result all of the characters in the play are involved, in some way, with corruption. Shakespeare has entwined it into all of their lives. This corruption is a social, religious or political level, and for some of the characters more than just one of them. We are immediately introduced to corruption and Shakespeare continues to expose it at the plot goes on. The main corruption of the play is that on of a social level and is committed by Claudio. As the characters discuss this more corruption is revealed, for example that of Froth and Mistress Overdone and as Isabella tries to eradicate the punishment further corruption is revealed, on both a social and religious scale. Shakespeare links the corruption to the theme of the play and either represents is as a tragedy or as comical. The events, as they go on, seem to create other causes for corruption and the audience are led to wonder what will happen next. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Measure For Measure essays

  1. Compare the characters of Angelo and Isabella and discuss how they are characters of ...

    Angelo tries to separate the execution of Claudio and his passion for Isabella in his mind. He does not connect the two acts, and cannot see that one contradicts the other: "took your brother's life, or to redeem him/ Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness/ As she that he hath stained".

  2. Measure for Measure By William Shakespeare - Explain the significance of the title.

    Thoughts are no subjects; Intents, but merely thoughts." ( V.i.l.447-452 ). The inability of the law to deal with the thoughts of individuals reveals how limited the authority is on rectifying the society. One can legislate morality, but one cannot create a moral or upright person.

  1. "The last act of Measure for Measure raises more questions than it solves, is ...

    Isabella does not say anything after the offer is made and if she were going to accept the offer, then surely Shakespeare would have her say so? Additionally it seems hard to believe that she would forsake her convent life in favour of the luxuriant life of being a duchess.

  2. In what ways does Shakespeare present Isabella up until the end of Act 2?

    He uses the character Isabella to test Angelo. Significantly, she is the only character other than the Duke to face up to Angelo. However, even with the seemingly most religious and moral character he still does not show compassion. Isabella argues that if Angelo had "slipped, like him [Claudio]" then "he would have not been so stern".

  1. How Does Shakespeare Create Dramatic Interest in Act1 Scene2 Of Measure for Measure

    The quote above highlights the apparent friendship between Claudio and Lucio. Claudio's speech is a contrast to the previous prose used, he speaks in blank verse a device often used by Shakespeare to indicate a characters social status, therefore separating himself from the lower characters but we must ask why

  2. How far does Shakespeare make his characters represent his themes?

    All the characters who described Angelo, said almost the same thing, that Angelo, 'whose blood is very snow-broth.' The job of Duke however is not so important to Angelo when the lower classes need dealing with as he cannot make a name for himself in the higher social circles, therefore

  1. What do you find interesting in the presentation of Isabella?

    is in verse and Shakespeare's use of iambic pentameter, creates a flow, and expectation of the audience for a creative reply or counter argument from Isabella and Angelo with the two characters often completing each others lines. 'Isabella: And mercy then will breathe within your lips, like man new made.'

  2. Discuss Shakespeare's Presentation of Isabella in 'Measure for Measure'.

    All through this soliloquy he speaks in short sentences that all show his confusion as to why he feels this attraction and the morals behind it. A lot of these are to do with how Isabella's virtue is corrupting his own strict moral code.

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