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Measure for Measure- Why is Lucio in the play

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Alex Isaacs 11E Mr Johnson Why is Lucio in the play? In the Globe's 2004 Measure for Measure production Lucio is every mans man, he is a fashionable dissipated gentleman and a friend of Claudio. In this recorded production Lucio was played by Scotsman, Colin Hurley, a surprising choice for such a comical character as Scotsmen are often sincere and serious, playing against the stereotype. This casting was very effective and was received well by the audience. In Measure for Measure Lucio often plays to the audience and provides much of the humour in the play and so early on becomes a well liked character, this deeming him the audiences approval and support through much of the play. Lucio is an insignificant character within Measure for Measure who gives little input to the story and yet features frequently. In the play Lucio's familiarity with the characters of the illicit and society alike makes him an effective link, tying the plot and subplot together, highlighting some of the more in depth themes. The title "Measure for Measure" emphasizes that the play is about balance and the characters sense of morality and how well they know themselves and other people. The flaws and virtues of human nature are highlighted in unison, such as Lucio's description of the Duke and how this may be manipulated and misjudged. Lucio seems to understand human nature, or at least more than other characters, which he takes to his advantage and causes trouble with. ...read more.


between Isabella and Angelo. Like most characters within the play he is not balanced, having little sense about morality and judgement but, gives the illusion that he is. He understands human nature under the surface like people's motivations and takes advantage by interacting with them. Lucio is very aware of his ability with people and uses it, manipulating people to his advantage and scoring popularity with characters and audience alike. In his first appearance he is with the ruffians and uses more vulgar language. He comfortably interacts with them and assumes their social status, making the same vulgar jokes. " Behold, behold, where Madame Mitigation comes. I have purchased many diseases under her roof as to come -" Lucio line 51 Act 1 Scene 2 Once he hears that Claudio has been arrested and condemned to death, Lucio stops his joking and rushes off to "learn the truth of it" In the following scene he transforms in the company of Isabella. He is a chameleon and adapts to his social companions. Transforming his manner and tone in the company of Isabella, he tells her of Claudio's predicament. "Gentle and fair: your brother kindly greets you. Not to be weary with you, he's in prison." Lucio line 24 Act 1 Scene 4 But for all his adaptability and mingling Lucio contributes little to the actual story. The most significant contribution Lucio makes is urging Isabella to persist in persuading Angelo not to kill her brother. ...read more.


Colin Hurley made this very flamboyant and heightened the drama of the scene. After unveiling the Duke his reactions and double take evoked sheer delight in the audience, as his shenanigans came to an end. At the end of the play Lucio received measure for measure as his punishment, marrying the prostitute mother of his child. Lucio has been sentenced to face up to his responsibility and has been put back into his place socially. Lucio ends on a brilliant line "Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging." Proving he was not a balanced character and has only become more balanced thanks to the Duke and his insistence of marriage. Lucio is a fantastic, a character who although not entirely necessary to the story, gains the support of the audience with his characteristic of being charming and understanding human nature, so therefore being able to manipulate it and inevitably trying to take too much advantage over it, loosing the audiences shield. Lucio gives contrast to the other characters such as Angelo and Isabella, who are both very strict with themselves and Pompey who is very free appearing to be the more balanced. He is in-between them all and is the character that links them all and the sub-text together and brings it to the audience. Lucio highlights the transformation of other characters and their true personalities, so that the audience reflect on if they receive what they deserve. ` ...read more.

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