"Measure for Measure" Essay by A. Winchell

"Measure for Measure"
Examines the dangers of extremism in William Shakespeare's "Measure of Measure."
# 26539 | 1,321 words | 1 source | MLA | 2003 | US
Published on May 07, 2003 in Shakespeare (Measure for Measure) , Shakespeare (General)

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This paper discusses the characters of Isabella and Angelo in Shakespeare's play "Measure for Measure," examining their character traits and interactions, as well as their evolution over the course of the work. The paper provides a careful analysis of the meaning of their extreme characters, as well as an explanation of Shakespeare's intent that the Duke represents a balancing of naive purity and corrupt worldliness.

From the Paper:

"With Isabella standing as the example of purity and Angelo representing the absolute darkness that corrupts the souls of men, Shakespeare plays the two extremes against each other in order to emphasize the importance of justice and balance. Although Angelo appears to be pure, this is only skin deep, and with his attraction to Isabella, he radically changes into a being consumed with evil intentions. His descent, however, is driven by a symbol of purity and innocence, because he longs to have the true purity that exists in him only as pretense. Isabella represents absolute purity, but Shakespeare deliberately moves her from entering a convent to considering the possibility of entering a marriage with the Duke, thus showing that even the extreme purity of Isabella should be tempered by wisdom of the real world in the form of the Duke."

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