An Analysis of the Character Conflicts in Measure for Measure, a Play by William Shakespeare

Character conflict is the essence of every book, movie, television show, and life. Such is the case in Measure for Measure a play by William Shakespeare. The three main characters, along with the others, string along a plot fit for Jerry Springer, but in each person, there is a different conflict and motivation for living. Isabella finds her conflict troubling. Set to become a nun, she must choose whether to follow her sisterly vows or sleep with Angelo to free her brother.

Isabella is an innocent young woman who dreams of becoming a nun, but when she is informed of her brother’s fate, she is faced with a difficult choice. Claudio is an honest, hardworking man who is far from any kind of evil. He is engaged to Juliet, and when it is discovered that the two had affairs before marriage, Angelo, the temporary Duke, sends Claudio off to jail. The problem is that it is not illegal to have sex before marriage if you are engaged, but Angelou’s love for Isabella drives him to concoct a plan to sleep with her.

Angelo tells Isabella that he will release her brother if she sleeps with him.

Isabella’s conflict resides here. She becomes torn about whether to follow the vows she took as a sister and her dreams of becoming a nun, or to disregard everything she believes in and sleep with Angelo, but free her brother. Throughout the play, we see the struggle within Isabella. Shakespeare captures this conflict as an ethical one.

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In the end, Isabella chooses that she cannot disrespect herself by sleeping with Angelo, but instead creates a scheme where a different woman sleeps with Angelo him thinking it was Isabella. Angelo frees Claudio and all is well. The conflict Shakespeare creates in every character is a result of each other, that is one personâ€TMs conflict directly influences another. Therefore Isabella’s handling of her conflict solved everyone else’s and ended Measure for Measure on a happy note, which is why we regard the play as a comedy.

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An Analysis of the Character Conflicts in Measure for Measure, a Play by William Shakespeare. (2022, Aug 11). Retrieved from

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