Measure for Measure

Angelo's Soliloques

Contrast the opening soliloquy of Act II sc. iv with that which closes sc. ii.

Angelo's soliloquy in sc. Ii immediately follows his first meeting with Isabella, whereas the speech to which sc. Iv opens precedes her second visit. Understandably, we see a change in Angelo from a man reeling from the shock of newly uncovered feelings, to a man excited and anticipating the appearance of the object of his desires, and, perhaps, something of a darker Angelo. These soliloquies, though short, are full of imagery, symbolism, and emotion as the character begins to warp and distort.

In the earlier soliloquy, Angelo can be seen as shocked and confused. He questions himself, asking 'Is this her fault or mine?'. His use of rhetorical questions echo his searching for an understanding of the thaw taking place in his snow-broth. He examines his motives for his attraction to Isabella, and seems a little disgusted as his desire to 'raze the sanctuary' of Isabella's purity and 'pitch [his] evils there'. He also must seek for something solid now that his puritanical carpet has been whisked out from under him. When he exclaims 'O, let her brother live!' we can see not only his desire to accede to Isabella's...

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