Measure for Measure Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Measure for Measure

The Duke of Vienna decides to go away, and leaves Angelo in charge while he is gone. However, the Duke really disguises himself and sticks around. Claudio is imprisoned for adultery, and is sentenced to death. His sister Isabella, who wants to become a nun, pleads to Angelo for his life. Angelo says he will only agree if Isabella will yield her body to him. Isabella refuses. The Duke steps in, still disguised as a friar, and suggests that Isabella agree to the terms, but switch places with Marianna, the woman to whom Angelo is bond to by a "pre-contract." In the end, the Duke comes back, everything is put to right, and the good people live happily ever after, while the bad people suffer some consequences.
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The review of this Book prepared by Megan E. Davis

Isabella is about to enter a convent to lead the chaste life of a nun when she hears that her brother is imprisoned and sentenced to death for impregnating a prostitute. She must convince the deputy duke to pardon her brother, but the official has a strong physical attraction to young Isabella. He offers to pardon the brother if she married him. Isabella is then torn between her chastity and her love for her brother. There are also comic subplots with the other prisoners and the disguised Duke obvserving the goings-on.
The review of this Book prepared by Jessica Marler

Vincentio, Duke of Vienna, announces he's going on a long trip and leaves his deputy Angelo in charge. The Duke actually disguises himself and sticks around to see what happens. Angelo, a hard-liner, cracks down on the city; one of his first acts is to condemn to death a young man named Claudio for having premarital sex with his fiancee. Claudio's sister, Isabella, who is about to enter a convent, comes before Angelo to plead for her brother's life, and the acting duke says maybe he'll show some leniency if Isabella will sleep with HIM. Appalled, Isabella tells her brother to prepare for the execution. Claudio has a speech that prefigures Hamlet's much more famous meditation on non-existence. There is the usual comic subplot with unsavory characters that could have come right out of Brecht-Weill. Because of the grimy setting and sequence of events, and an unbelievably pat ending, this last of Shakespeare's comedies has often been called a "problem play," but its ambiguities and message (something along the lines of St. Matthew's "Judge not, lest ye be judged") can make it very appealing to a modern reader. As always, it helps to see it performed on stage.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Measure for Measure

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Life of a profession:    -   king/queen/royalty Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   religious figure Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Austrian


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   1 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Austrian Misc setting    -   prison

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes Weird Victorian/Shakespearean English?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   mostly dialog

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