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Justice and legality in shakespeares measure for measure essay

We have strict statutes and most biting laws.

Measure for Measure by Shakespeare

The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds, Which for this nineteen years we have let slip. The answer could change drastically from one individual to the next. What is just to me, a young Canadian adult male in the twenty-first century, would astound someone born in the third or fourth century in Rome, the sixteenth or seventeenth century in Vienna, or perhaps even my contemporaries of the Islamic faith.

Despite the variations, I believe that one thing must remain constant in order for the notion of justice to exist: When speaking of legal matters, if a law exists, it must always be enforced. The person guilty of breaking the law must then be punished in accordance with a pre-set, agreed-upon, sentence without bias. If a law remains dormant for a long period of time without prosecution of offenders, it should either be abolished or, if it is to be reinstated it should be publicly announced that this is the case and what the punishment for breaking the law would entail.

Then, if an example is to be made, an offender who breaks the law after the announcement should be punished to the extent which was announced.

  • The play begins with the necessity of establishing justice against the weakness of merciful administration of the Duke;
  • The plan set forth by The Duke is carried out;
  • If he is so adamant about having justice restored to Vienna, without exception, then surely he should pass judgement on this case himself, despite his being daunted by the possible length of the proceedings.

Vicentio, the duke of Vienna, sees the fact that the laws are being widely ignored, even mocked, and wishes this problem to be corrected. As he professes to Friar Thomas: He does this in the hope that Angelo will enforce the laws and Vienna will be a better city as a result: I have deliver'd to Lord Angelo, A man of stricture and firm abstinence, My absolute power and place here in Vienna, And he supposes me travell'd to Poland.

He does this despite the fact that Claudio is engaged to the girl in question and the sexual relations were completely consensual.

Justice in "Measure for Measure"

Not enforcing the law again this time would only further the original issue which The Duke is trying to address. To help make his point he compares their circumstances to pruning a tree: Let us be keen, and rather cut a little, Than fall, and bruise to death.

He continues by questioning whether Angelo himself has ever made a similar error in his own life: Angelo admits to having temptations in the past but is adamant that the law must now be enforced without error or bias to anyone.

He continues to state that if he were to be caught in a similar act of lechery that he too should be put to death: For I have had such faults; but rather tell me, When I, that censure him, do so offend, Let mine own judgement pattern out my death, And nothing come in partial.

Sir, he must die. Angelo questions them and during the proceedings grows tired of listening to them, stating: He decides that he will allow Escalus, whom he knows to be more lenient than he, to resolve the dispute. If he is so adamant about having justice restored to Vienna, without exception, then surely he should pass judgement on this case himself, despite his being daunted by the possible length of the proceedings.

  1. The encounter takes the shape of a verbal battle between two equally gifted advocates. Angelo, in this case, has undoubtedly done an act of justice.
  2. The person guilty of breaking the law must then be punished in accordance with a pre-set, agreed-upon, sentence without bias.
  3. Although he was given both mercy and mortality under his power, he does not show any mercy. The Duke is like God himself and merciful to administer law with pitiless strictness.

Nevertheless he does allow Escalus to rule in the case and Escalus simply lets them off with a warning, thinking it to be unfair to not give them a second chance. To Froth he says: I advise you, let me not find you before me again upon any Complaint whatsoever, no, not for dwelling where you do; If I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Caesar To you.

How could he allow this judgement to be made and then enforce the death penalty on Claudio for a lesser offence? How can this be considered justice? Her initial attempts would seem futile as Angelo continually brushes her off but, on the advice of Lucio, she manages to soften him with her femininity.

  • To see the world;
  • Laws are made to ensure justice and order;
  • Isabella recognizes the demands of justice but her fascination is to the greatness and divine beauty of mercy;
  • The Duke was merciful who takes back his power from Angelo.

It also becomes evident that he has never had a feeling similar to this: This gives us some insight as to how he is able to govern so harshly over Claudio, now understanding how he [Claudio] would be able to give into such sinful desires. With his new-found understanding, you would think that Angelo would pardon Claudio.

Instead, these desires lead him to offer Isabella a deal which contradicts everything he has done in the play thus far.

  • If she be mad, as I believe no other, Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense, Such a dependency of thing on thing, As e'er I heard in madness;
  • Because of too much leniency, his administration fails;
  • Measure for Measure by Shakespeare Discuss the Theme of Justice and Mercy in Measure for Measure Measure for Measure has been considered a problem play since it raises problematic issues which are left unresolved;
  • Song - The Path West Avenue;
  • In his scheme of things, mercy does not have a place.

He offers her brother to be freed in exchange for her virginity: Here, we have an offer to absolve one act of lechery by committing another. Isabella, of course, refuses the proposition made by Angelo and she sets off to the prison to see her brother.

Sweet sister, let me live: What sin you do to save a brother's life, Nature dispenses with the deed so far That it becomes a virtue III.

  1. If he is so adamant about having justice restored to Vienna, without exception, then surely he should pass judgement on this case himself, despite his being daunted by the possible length of the proceedings.
  2. We see in The Duke that he is much too mild mannered of a man to enforce the law properly. Finally, the Duke shows indiscriminate mercy to all other offenders.
  3. To see the world. Sweet sister, let me live.

Then, after Mariana and Angelo have slept together, force Angelo to marry Mariana on that basis. The plan set forth by The Duke is carried out.

Measure for Measure by Shakespeare

In his defence he claims that he feared Claudio would revolt against him if he were released: He demands that Claudio be executed and his head be delivered to him the following day. The Duke, still as The Friar, hears this news and formulates another plan. He tells the provost to let both Claudio and Barnadine, a fellow prisoner to be executed that day, live.

The Duke, as himself, sends a letter to Angelo and Escalus instructing them to meet him at the city gates. At the gates, The Duke addresses Isabella and she reveals what Angelo has done. The Duke, despite knowing the truth, decides to continue the charade by pretending not to believe her and sending her to prison as a mad woman: If she be mad, as I believe no other, Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense, Such a dependency of thing on thing, As e'er I heard in madness.

Angelo finally admits what he has done, which The Duke knew all along, and finally asks for the same ruling to be made against him as he made against Claudio. The Duke, again, continues the charade by pretending to sentence him to death for the murder of Claudio, knowing very well that Claudio is still alive: The very mercy of the law cries out Most audible, even from his proper tongue, An Angelo for Claudio, death for death!

He sentences Angelo to marry Mariana for his indiscretions, sentences Lucio to marry a prostitute, with whom he confessed to having relations earlier in the play, and proposes to Isabella.

The Duke and Angelo both had the intention of rectifying the situation in Vienna by having the laws enforced, but instead managed to further the problem: Also, Angelo and Lucio are merely sentenced to marry the women that they have slept with.

This was evidently the punishment already being enforced for the past nineteen years. So we see that any one man cannot ensure that justice is served. Individuals have their weaknesses which are going to cause flaws in the way a city is run. This will inevitably lead to justice not being properly served. We see in The Duke that he justice and legality in shakespeares measure for measure essay much too mild mannered of a man to enforce the law properly.

Angelo is quite the opposite but he falls into his temptations which also lead to corruption. This is why I suggest that all laws, big or small, must be enforced and the guilty be punished in accordance with a pre-set, agreed upon sentence without bias. This will inevitably lead to anarchy. Laws are made to ensure justice and order. If they are not maintained regularly, and without fault, then there is a chance that the order is not sustained and justice will not prevail.

Measure for Measure Essay | Essay

Ian Mugford More often referred to as Mugz D. December 5th, 1985 Education: Currently, Ian is in his third year of his Bachelor of Arts program at Cape Breton University with his key focus within the fields of English literature and history.

Upon completion, Ian intends to enroll in the University of Maine with aspirations of obtaining his Bachelor of Education degree with future plans of obtaining a PH. Ian currently works as a technical support agent for the company of iBahn A hotel based internet provider.

Ian also has a great fascination with animals and loves pets. His dog, Maya, is a pure breaded basenji and is with him on most occasions. Musical Artist - Eminem. Song - The Path West Avenue.

Narrow-minded views and opinions Not finishing an intelligent conversation or debate. To see the world.