English Literature AS - Measure for Measure


Surveillance and Paranoia

  • Justice Systems in Europe changed from public spectacles to Surveillance

   - Duke dons disguise to observe workings of justice system - "Priest" allows questioning of criminals for innermost motives (Intimate knowledge)

  • Duke is inefficient in dealing with cases and doesn't resist the opportunity for a public spectacle - seems to reinforce terror of the law (Scarecrow) by exploiting full extent of powers

- uses late 19th centurary tactiques to produce a state of visability 

- if he can know dark secrets about Angelo, then everyone's secrets are known - Angelo as scapegoat (exactly what Angelo is doing)

1 of 3


  • Character designed to show the problems with investing flawed humans with absolute power
  • Terror and prosectution is to protect a guilty man from consequences of actions - understands the theory behind using harsh punishments
  • Sexulising language: demarcations between Angelo and other characters dissolve as play goes on (Act 1 Language VS Act 3 Language)
  • Rigid Application of the law: "we must not make a scarecrow of the law" - conception of law and role in Viennese society - no element of mercy or sympathy
  • Archtype of Puritanism: (Elbow) curiously cavalier response for a Proto-puritan, as issues concern public misconduct and fornication - shows degeneration of his role
2 of 3


Unlike King Lear - Duke never lets go of power - manipulates events and people around him

Using Angelo as a scapegoat, to reimpose law in Vienna - shows his ineffectiveness in goverment or a Puppeteer using Angelo to fix his own mistakes

OR could be using Angelo as a revenge plot for Mariana, who Angelo wronged

3 of 3




this id good!


Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all Measure for Measure resources »