Isabella in "Measure for Measure" Book Review by UNC Tarheels

Isabella in "Measure for Measure"
An analysis of Isabella's effective use of silence and chastity in William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure".
# 108952 | 1,508 words | 0 sources | 2008 | US
Published on Nov 07, 2008 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Measure for Measure)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper discusses how, as a resistant and subversive character in "Measure for Measure", Isabella combines the virtues of chastity and eloquence to attract men, while also demonstrating her stance on femininity through silence in moments of necessary speech. It looks at how she clearly possesses the skill of moving men with her articulate dialect, but also has the ability to draw men with her speechless dialect that is almost as effective as her verbal skill. It examines how her speech shows that she is submissive and that she is open to interpretation, thus provoking Antonio's lust for her and how on the other hand, her silence moves men to passion based solely on her passive character. Therefore, her chastity and both her eloquence of speech and her silence become her two most important powers.

From the Paper:

"In the first Act, Shakespeare illustrates Isabella as a devoted and aspiring nun. The order of nuns she wishes to join is the Poor Clares, who were very strict in comparison to other Catholic orders, and whose main premise is to resist natural temptations in order to gain a purely religious life. She has chosen to substitute the authority of God and the Church for the worldly patriarchy of family, marriage, and the state. This decision indicates her culture's ideologies of gender, where women were expected to follow a traditional path of marrying and raising children, making Isabella's character one of dissent. Thus, in the first Act, readers see how Isabella has prioritized chastity and how she will substitute it for power. "

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Isabella in "Measure for Measure" (2008, November 07) Retrieved December 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Isabella in "Measure for Measure"" 07 November 2008. Web. 07 December. 2023. <>