Measure for Measure Essay

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Carolyn E. Brown evaluates the conflicting critical attitudes to Isabella's character, noting that while some scholars regard Isabella as "saintly," others condemn her as shrewish. Brown asserts that a psychological assessment of Isabella reveals that she is a complex character who unconsciously harbors incestuous feelings for her brother and a fascination with sexual masochism. Bernice Kliman describes Isabella as youthfully innocent; further, Kliman observes that Isabella is a "poor debater" and an inexperienced rhetorician who must depend on the Duke for a resolution to her troubles. By contrast, Amy Lechter-Siegel and Marcia Riefer consider Isabella to be highly articulate. However, both Lechter-Siegel and Riefer remark that be cause the novice's speeches pose a threat to the established male authority, they become fewer and less persuasive until Isabella is at last reduced to what Riefer regards as a powerless silence at the close of the play. Barbara J. Baines...

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This section contains 4,431 words
(approx. 12 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Measure for Measure Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
Measure for Measure from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.