Isabella's Virtue Analytical Essay by Izzy101

Isabella's Virtue
A discussion on whether Isabella is presented as a model of Christian virtue in William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure".
# 112325 | 1,275 words | 0 sources | 2009 | GB
Published on Feb 20, 2009 in English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Measure for Measure)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper argues that Shakespeare did not intend to present Isabella as a devious character or imply her false innocence and claims that Isabella's character serves to enable Shakespeare to develop the plot and communicate the themes of the play to the audience. It looks at how Isabella's devoutness plays an essential role in raising questions concerning moral dilemma, mercy and justice, and the lessons which can be drawn from the solution the Duke proposes. Without establishing Isabella as a strongly principled, Christian character, this would not be possible.

From the Paper:

"The main source of criticism towards the character of Isabella stems from her apparent lack of compassion towards the imprisoned Claudio. Making no allowances for Claudio's fear and desperation, Isabella callously condemns him as a coward, disgusted that he would disgrace the family name by even considering Angelo's proposal. Her language becomes harsh and unforgiving, referring to Claudio as 'Faithless coward' and 'Dishonest wretch', leaving him with the words 'Die, perish.' At this point in the play, the audience has developed a sense of sympathy towards Claudio, causing Isabella's actions to appear particularly callous. Many audience members feel Isabella's piety ceases to be an honorable quality of her character and begins to be considered as selfishness, a trait incompatible with a 'model of Christian virtue'. To those who support Angelo and Claudio's argument that there is perhaps 'Charity in sin', the fact that she considers preserving her chastity to be worth more than the life of her brother is regarded to be cruel and unchristian."

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Isabella's Virtue (2009, February 20) Retrieved December 04, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Isabella's Virtue" 20 February 2009. Web. 04 December. 2023. <>