In one sense it deserves to be considered as a drama of ideas. Isabella, the heroine of this play, is a problematic character because she displays conflicting moral and legal notions through her attitude to sin, justice, celibacy, marriage etc.
All of the major events that occur in the plot are in some way linked to her. I chose to write my essay on her as in preliminary work I found her a very interesting and influential character. She seems to bring a lot to the play in the sense that she is really the only female lead character, and she seems to be the most morally upright and genuine individual in the play.
This initially shows us that her faith is very strong, as she has pledged her life to God and the church. You can see right from the outset that Shakespeare presents her a very strong and single-minded character.
Her character is shown to be very loyal to her brother, Claudio. She agrees, and makes preparations to speak with Angelo. This first impression of Isabella in Act 1 Scene 4 is representative of how we see her throughout the play; a strong-willed and loyal character.
It is because of this that I believe the audience would promptly warm to her, her character is such that she is instantly likeable; denoting that you can easily forgive her for any shortcomings. Three themes that go together when looking at the character of Isabella are: These can be analysed very well in the scenes where she is speaking to Angelo, namely, Act 2 Scenes 2 and 4.
This is a quality that Shakespeare has given her to make the audience sympathise with her and perhaps be more aware of her position; because she tries so hard and does so well but it eventually gets her nowhere.
Her first argument is to condemn Claudio for his fornication and simply to ask Angelo to be lenient and pardon him. All through this scene she is using different means to make him amend his decision. She tries to make Angelo empathise with Claudio by making him imagine what it would be like if the situation were reversed.
How would you be if he, which is the top of judgement, should be judge you as you are? At this time Isabella maybe needs some encouragement as she has been endeavouring to break Angelo for some time.
Spurned on by this new confidence she asks Angelo to look at his conscience, she asks if his conviction of Claudio makes him feel any sort of guilt. But it is not important as she now has another chance to plead with Angelo and more time to realise his despicable intentions. Here the audience would be feeling sympathy towards Isabella, simply for the lack of success in her ardent attempts to save Claudio from death.
Also I would assume that they are also developing a dislike for Angelo due to his hypocrisy and general unpleasantness towards Isabella and Claudio. From his soliloquies we can see the effect that Isabella has upon him, the ways in which her attempts to sway Angelo do and do not work.
All through this soliloquy he speaks in short sentences that all show his confusion as to why he feels this attraction and the morals behind it. He simply does not understand why these emotions have surfaced; he says that she aroused him more that a prostitute ever has.
The entire passage is based upon the fact that he is incredibly confused about new feelings that have arisen for Isabella.
When Isabella is announced by the Servant, Angelo is overwhelmed by how anxious he is of seeing her again. This shows the audience what she would supposedly do in such a situation; in other words not give herself, as it would mean eternal damnation.
As it is reasonably clear what Angelo is to suggest, it will be interesting for them to see what her actual reaction will be.
Whether she will stick to her morals as proposed, or be willing to do such a thing to save Claudio. However she has done a lot to attempt to save him; so the family bond may come first.
Shakespeare deliberately creates this remarkably difficult choice, to make the audience empathise with Isabella and condemn Angelo.Measure for Measure Essay: The Virtuous Vanity of Isabella Words | 6 Pages.
The Virtuous Vanity of Isabella in Measure for Measure Shakespeare's work, Measure for Measure, puts the "problem" in "problem play" as it, examines the difference between law and justice, virtue and goodness. Essays and criticism on William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure - Critical Essays.
Join Now Log in Home Literature Essays Measure for Measure Isabella's Powers Measure for Measure Isabella's Powers Anonymous. Isabella is the strongest female character in "Measure for Measure." She debates with Angelo on an equal level and is not undermined by his authority.
Her strength as a character derives from several sources; her. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. A.
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