An analysis of the character of the duke in the play measure for measure by william shakespeare

Isabella, sister to Claudio, a novice Mariana, betrothed to Angelo Juliet, beloved of Claudio, pregnant with his child Francisca, a nun. Mistress Overdone, the manager of a thriving Viennese brothel Vincentio, The Duke, who also appears disguised as Friar Lodowick Angelothe Deputy, who rules in the Duke's absence Escalus, an ancient lord Claudio, a young gentleman, brother to Isabella Pompey Bum, a pimp who acquires customers for Mistress Overdone Lucio, a "fantastic", a foppish young nobleman Two gentlemen, friends to Lucio The Provost, who runs the prison Thomas and Peter, two friars Elbow, a simple constable Froth, a foolish gentleman of fourscore pound a year Abhorson, an executioner a Justice, friend of Escalus Varrius silent rolea friend of the Duke Claudio and Isabella by William Holman Hunt Vincentio, the Duke of Viennamakes it known that he intends to leave the city on a diplomatic mission.

An analysis of the character of the duke in the play measure for measure by william shakespeare

Angelo is left in charge by the Duke, who pretends to leave town but instead dresses as a friar to observe the goings-on in his absence.

SparkNotes: Measure for Measure: Characters He leaves Vienna in Angelo's charge and returns disguised as Friar Lodowick to watch developments while incognito.
SparkNotes: Measure for Measure: Characters The duke's appointment of Angelo to take his place is mentioned, Escalus agreeing that Angelo is worthy of the honor.
Measure for Measure - Wikipedia Isabella does not approve of her brother's actions at all, but she pleads for his life out of loyalty and sisterly devotion. Isabella is a spiritual person who starts off wanting to become a nun.

Angelo is strict, moralistic, and unwavering in his decision-making; he decides that there is too much freedom in Vienna and takes it upon himself to rid the city of brothels and unlawful sexual activity. Laws against these behaviors and institutions already exist, and Angelo simply decides to enforce them more strictly.

Claudio is arrested for impregnating Juliet, his lover, before they were married.

The character of The Duke in Measure for Measure from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

Although they were engaged and their sexual intercourse was consensual, Claudio is sentenced to death in order to serve as an example to the other Viennese citizens.

Isabella, Claudio's sister, is about to enter a nunnery when her brother is arrested. She is unfailingly virtuous, religious, and chaste. When she hears of her brother's arrest, she goes to Angelo to beg him for mercy.

He refuses, but suggests that there might be some way to change his mind.

SparkNotes: Measure for Measure: Overall Summary

When he propositions her, saying that he will let Claudio live if she agrees to have sexual intercourse with him, she is shocked and immediately refuses. Her brother agrees at first but then changes his mind.

Isabella is left to contemplate a very important decision. Isabella is, in a way, let off the hook when the Duke, dressed as a friar, intervenes.

William Shakespeare

He tells her that Angelo's former lover, Mariana, was engaged to be married to him, but he abandoned her when she lost her dowry in a shipwreck. The Duke forms a plan by which Isabella will agree to have sex with the Angelo, but then Mariana will go in her place.

The next morning, Angelo will pardon Claudio and be forced to marry Mariana according to the law. Everything goes according to plan, except that Angelo does not pardon Claudio, fearing revenge. The provost and the Duke send him the head of a dead pirate, claiming that it belonged to Claudio, and Angelo believes that his orders were carried out.

Isabella is told that her brother is dead, and that she should submit a complaint to the Duke, who is due to arrive shortly, accusing Angelo of immoral acts. The Duke returns in his usual clothes, saying that he will hear all grievances immediately. Isabella tells her story, and the Duke pretends not to believe her.

Eventually, the Duke reveals his dual identity, and everyone is forced to be honest. Angelo confesses to his misdeeds, Claudio is pardoned, and the Duke asks Isabella to marry him.Everything you ever wanted to know about Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure, Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare.

Home / Literature / Measure for Measure / Characters / Duke Vincentio ; Character Analysis. The Duke is, well, the Duke of Vienna.

An analysis of the character of the duke in the play measure for measure by william shakespeare

At the play's beginning, he decides to fake a vacation and puts Angelo in charge of. AN INTRODUCTION THE PROBLEM OF THE PLAY Measure for Measureis clearly one of Shakespeare’s more puzzling critics and scholars have found fault with its structure, themes and characters in trying to obtain a clear reading of the play.

Overall Summary. Shakespeare's Measure for Measure centers around the fate of Claudio, who is arrested by Lord Angelo, the temporary leader of Vienna.


Angelo is left in charge by the Duke, who pretends to leave town but instead dresses as a friar to observe the goings-on in his absence. The duke, Vincentio, deputizing Angelo to act in his place, leaves Vienna, purportedly to make a journey but in fact to disguise himself as a friar and return to Vienna to watch events transpire.

Moral corruption is general in the city where the duke has been lax in enforcing laws governing such. The ornate and formal language in Measure for Measure makes this one of Shakespeare's tougher reads.

The Duke's opening speech alone is enough to give us a . Detailed analysis of Characters in William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Learn all about how the characters in Measure for Measure such as Duke and Angelo contribute to .

Measure for Measure - Wikipedia