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Measure for Measure
Act 4, scene 1

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Contents

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 1
Enter Mariana, and Boy singing.

Song.

 
 Take, O take those lips away,
  That so sweetly were forsworn,
 And those eyes, the break of day,
  Lights that do mislead the morn.
5 But my kisses bring again, bring again,
 Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain.


Enter Duke as a Friar.

MARIANA, to Boy 
 Break off thy song and haste thee quick away.
 Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
 Hath often stilled my brawling discontent.
Boy exits.
10 I cry you mercy, sir, and well could wish
 You had not found me here so musical.
 Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
 My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.
DUKE, as Friar 
 ’Tis good, though music oft hath such a charm
15 To make bad good and good provoke to harm.
 I pray you tell me, hath anybody inquired for me
131

133
Measure for Measure
ACT 4. SC. 1

 here today? Much upon this time have I promised
 here to meet.
MARIANA You have not been inquired after. I have sat
20 here all day.

Enter Isabella.

DUKE, as Friar I do constantly believe you. The time is
 come even now. I shall crave your forbearance a
 little. Maybe I will call upon you anon for some
 advantage to yourself.
MARIANA 25I am always bound to you.She exits.
DUKE, as Friar Very well met, and welcome.
 What is the news from this good deputy?
ISABELLA 
 He hath a garden circummured with brick,
 Whose western side is with a vineyard backed;
30 And to that vineyard is a planchèd gate
 That makes his opening with this bigger key.
 This other doth command a little door
 Which from the vineyard to the garden leads.
 There have I made my promise, upon the
35 Heavy middle of the night, to call upon him.
DUKE, as Friar 
 But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
ISABELLA 
 I have ta’en a due and wary note upon ’t.
 With whispering and most guilty diligence,
 In action all of precept, he did show me
40 The way twice o’er.
DUKE, as Friar  Are there no other tokens
 Between you ’greed concerning her observance?
ISABELLA 
 No, none, but only a repair i’ th’ dark,
 And that I have possessed him my most stay
45 Can be but brief, for I have made him know
 I have a servant comes with me along

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Measure for Measure
ACT 4. SC. 1

 That stays upon me, whose persuasion is
 I come about my brother.
DUKE, as Friar  ’Tis well borne up.
50 I have not yet made known to Mariana
 A word of this.—What ho, within; come forth.

Enter Mariana.

 To Mariana. I pray you be acquainted with this
 maid.
 She comes to do you good.
ISABELLA 55I do desire the like.
DUKE, as Friar, to Mariana 
 Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?
MARIANA 
 Good friar, I know you do, and have found it.
DUKE, as Friar 
 Take then this your companion by the hand,
 Who hath a story ready for your ear.
60 I shall attend your leisure. But make haste.
 The vaporous night approaches.
MARIANA, to Isabella Will ’t please you walk aside?
Isabella and Mariana exit.
DUKE 
 O place and greatness, millions of false eyes
 Are stuck upon thee; volumes of report
65 Run with these false, and, most contrarious, quest
 Upon thy doings; thousand escapes of wit
 Make thee the father of their idle dream
 And rack thee in their fancies.

Enter Mariana and Isabella.

DUKE, as Friar  Welcome. How agreed?
ISABELLA 
70 She’ll take the enterprise upon her, father,
 If you advise it.

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Measure for Measure
ACT 4. SC. 2

DUKE, as Friar  It is not my consent
 But my entreaty too.
ISABELLA, to Mariana Little have you to say
75 When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
 “Remember now my brother.”
MARIANA  Fear me not.
DUKE, as Friar 
 Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.
 He is your husband on a precontract.
80 To bring you thus together ’tis no sin,
 Sith that the justice of your title to him
 Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go.
 Our corn’s to reap, for yet our tithe’s to sow.
They exit.