Measure for Measure


Discuss the irony in Measure for Measure.

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In Act V, the Duke's entering speech is laden with dramatic irony and a perfect example of irony in the play, since the audience knows that the Duke never left the city, knows everything that went on, and knows about Angelo's transgression; yet, as far as the citizens of the city know, Angelo has done a good job, and no one other than the Duke and his compatriots know otherwise at this point. The Duke's statement that Angelo's "desert speaks loud," and should have "a forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time" is especially ironic; for Angelo's desert is non-existent, and has already been corrupted, not by time but by lust.