List iconMeasure for Measure:
Act 2, scene 3
List icon

Measure for Measure
Act 2, scene 3



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Human nature and the law often collide in Measure for Measure. As the play begins, the Duke of Vienna announces he…

Act 1, scene 1

The Duke of Vienna announces that he has been called away from the city, and that he is leaving Lord…

Act 1, scene 2

Angelo enforces Vienna’s law against fornication, ordering the brothels torn down and having Claudio arrested because his fiancée’s pregnancy exposes…

Act 1, scene 3

The duke obtains the clothing of a friar in order to disguise himself and secretly observe the conduct of Angelo…

Act 1, scene 4

Lucio persuades Isabella to intercede with Angelo.

Act 2, scene 1

Escalus tries to persuade Angelo to be less harsh to Claudio. Angelo instead gives orders that Claudio be executed the…

Act 2, scene 2

Isabella pleads with Angelo for Claudio’s life. Angelo refuses to relent but, overcome by desire for Isabella, tells her that…

Act 2, scene 3

The duke (in the role of a friar) visits the prison and there meets Juliet, who expresses both her love…

Act 2, scene 4

Angelo tells Isabella that only if she sleeps with him will he set Claudio free; if she refuses, Claudio will…

Act 3, scene 1

The duke, in his guise of “Friar,” persuades Claudio that death is preferable to life. When Isabella tells Claudio that…

Act 3, scene 2

Pompey is carried off to prison. Lucio refuses to provide bail money for him, and slanders the absent duke to…

Act 4, scene 1

Isabella reports to the “Friar” about the arrangements made with Angelo for that night’s assignation; Mariana agrees to sleep with…

Act 4, scene 2

At the prison, Pompey agrees to serve as the assistant to Abhorson, the public executioner. The duke, in his role…

Act 4, scene 3

Barnardine declares himself not ready to die. The provost and the “Friar” agree to spare him temporarily and to send…

Act 4, scene 4

Angelo learns of the duke’s return. Alone, he expresses his anguish that he has raped Isabella and had Claudio killed.

Act 4, scene 5

The duke makes plans with Friar Peter, whom he sends away on errands, and then greets Varrius.

Act 4, scene 6

Isabella and Mariana discuss the roles they are to play when they meet the duke, who is about to enter…

Act 5, scene 1

The duke, on his entry, is met by Isabella, who accuses Angelo of violating her chastity. She is arrested for…

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Scene 3
Enter Duke, disguised as a Friar, and Provost.

DUKE, as Friar 
 Hail to you, provost, so I think you are.
 I am the Provost. What’s your will, good friar?
DUKE, as Friar 
 Bound by my charity and my blest order,
 I come to visit the afflicted spirits
5 Here in the prison. Do me the common right
 To let me see them, and to make me know
 The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
 To them accordingly.
 I would do more than that if more were needful.

Enter Juliet.

10 Look, here comes one, a gentlewoman of mine,
 Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth,
 Hath blistered her report. She is with child,
 And he that got it, sentenced—a young man,
 More fit to do another such offense
15 Than die for this.
DUKE, as Friar 
 When must he die?
PROVOST  As I do think, tomorrow.
 To Juliet. I have provided for you. Stay awhile
 And you shall be conducted.
DUKE, as Friar, to Juliet 
20 Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?
 I do; and bear the shame most patiently.
DUKE, as Friar 
 I’ll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience,

Measure for Measure
ACT 2. SC. 3

 And try your penitence, if it be sound
 Or hollowly put on.
JULIET 25 I’ll gladly learn.
DUKE, as Friar Love you the man that wronged you?
 Yes, as I love the woman that wronged him.
DUKE, as Friar 
 So then it seems your most offenseful act
 Was mutually committed?
JULIET 30 Mutually.
DUKE, as Friar 
 Then was your sin of heavier kind than his.
 I do confess it and repent it, father.
DUKE, as Friar 
 ’Tis meet so, daughter; but lest you do repent
 As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,
35 Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, not
 Showing we would not spare heaven as we love it,
 But as we stand in fear—
 I do repent me as it is an evil,
40 And take the shame with joy.
DUKE, as Friar  There rest.
 Your partner, as I hear, must die tomorrow,
 And I am going with instruction to him.
 Grace go with you. Benedicite.He exits.
45 Must die tomorrow? O injurious love
 That respites me a life, whose very comfort
 Is still a dying horror.
PROVOST  ’Tis pity of him.
They exit.