Comparing Forgiveness And Marriage In Much Ado, All's Well, And Measure For Measure

2651 words - 11 pages

Forgiveness and Marriage in Much Ado about Nothing, All's Well That Ends Well, and Measure for Measure

 
   Shakespeare never does manage to make the journey to the end of his comic plays an easy one for his characters or his audience, and as his comedies evolve, the journey becomes even more difficult. Tragic elements and more psychologically complex characters increase the intensity of the ending and often make a reader or viewer question if there will be a happy ending at all. Specific male characters in three plays act as impediments to this comic ending, often prompted by a villainous character and sometimes by their own doing. These men: Claudio in Much Ado about Nothing, Bertram in All's Well That Ends Well, and Angelo in Measure for Measure for various reasons are not ready for marriage or love. Living in a patriarchal society, they are often more concerned with fighting in a war or preserving male bonds than they are with being in love or being married. The problems that occur between the couples about to be married or just recently married are essential because these men need to grow up and become responsible. The only way to change them is to let them commit these harmful acts and realize the consequence. The women: Hero, Helena, and Mariana must be strong enough to forgive them for the hurtful acts these men have committed against them in order for some semblance of a happy ending to take place.

 

The "crimes" committed by Claudio in Much definitely requires a great act of forgiveness but Hunter feels that forgiveness is the essential element in this play. He point out that "the love of man for woman (but not of woman for man) is seen too frail an emotion to sustain the pressures that are frequently put upon it. Man's love fails, and woman must charitably forgive the failure" (60). Claudio fails Hero for several reasons; he is youthful and easily influenced by friends. Even more important is the fact that he has just returned home from the war, and some say that he is more comfortable on the war front than with dealing with feelings for Hero.

 

Janice Hays, in her essay "Those 'soft and delicate desires' and the Distrust of Women," says:

 

...his [Claudio] association with the male world, his silence in the presence of women, and his hesitation about affirming his tentative feelings imply that he is more at home with the actions of war than the emotions of love, and the speech in which he finally declares his feelings suggests the basis for his diffidence. (81)

 

Claudio definitely lacks self-confidence in the field of love. He is dumbfounded by his feelings, and unlike war, Hero and his feelings for her are not just enemies he can fight or kill, he must talk to her and this is very intimidating indeed. Hays supports this idea and says, "We may deduce that Claudio is a young man whose energy has been channeled into male pursuits but who now finds himself physically attracted to a gorgeous...

Find Another Essay On Comparing Forgiveness and Marriage in Much Ado, All's Well, and Measure for Measure

Much Ado About Nothing: Love And Marriage

754 words - 3 pages Even though love and marriage was a major ideal in Shakespearean England, we can get views from Much Ado about Nothing which oppose this idea. From the two main ‘couples’ in this play we can understand their different views on commitment throughout and because of this we as readers and viewers can learn about each relationship separately and watch the thoughts and ideas change throughout the play. From the scene given we can make many

Comparing Katharina, of The Taming of the Shrew and Beatrice of Much Ado About Nothing

1340 words - 5 pages have as strong as a character as Beatrice, especially when one considers that Petruchio was able to tame her in a very short time. In the opening scene of Much Ado About Nothing,  Beatrice says some harsh things about Benedick (1.I.37-43).  She seems to be unprovoked but very rigid in her opinion of him.  In Leonato's house, the discussion of Beatrice and marriage leads her uncle to conclude that, "Thou will never get thee a husband if thou

Politics, Power, and Purpose in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure

6699 words - 27 pages Claudio, Angelo has reneged on his promise and Claudio has been executed. In the final, public scene of disclosure and judgment, Isabella demands retribution, and the Duke, now in his own persona, exacts, or at least pretends to exact, measure for measure, a punishment that fits the crime. And yet, at the behest of Mariana, Isabella kneels and pleads for the life of Angelo, asking forgiveness for the man who has shown no forgiveness to her own

The Value of Sex in Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure

1370 words - 5 pages      Renaissance England often treats female sex and virginity as a commodity. Shakespeare recognizes this belief system in Measure for Measure and Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet's virginity acts as a commodity. However, it is not her commodity; rather, it belongs to her father. Capulet uses it as a bartering tool. In act three, scene four, he makes a marriage agreement with Paris. He says, "Sir Paris, I will make a

Measure for Measure Essay: Private Temptation and Social

842 words - 3 pages Private Temptation and Social Restraint in Measure for Measure      In his play, Measure for Measure, Shakespeare poses problems of law, justice, and personal freedom for which he offers no easy answers. Measure for Measure is very relevant to current political debates over public morality and the limits of self-expression. The play proposes the question: How do we reconcile social restraint and personal passion?   The Vienna of

Essay on Justice vs. Morality in Measure for Measure and Merchant of Venice

1127 words - 5 pages Justice vs. Morality in Measure for Measure and Merchant of Venice   There are many similarities shared between Shakespeare's plays, "Measure for Measure", and "The Merchant of Venice".  The underlying theme of each work is well defined by the phrase "Justice without the temperance of mercy, is power misused".  I will support this claim by drawing upon some of the characters and situations that are consistent in each story. In each

Comparing the Play versus the Film of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

884 words - 4 pages appear to be all that special, at times he did look evil but I have never been a big fan of Keanu?s acting. He always sounds like a baboon when he opens his mouth. Maybe I am just remembering too much of Bill and Ted?s Excellent adventure? Beatrice and Bene*censored* are adversaries united only in their contempt for marriage. Once the two finally let down their guard and allow their true feelings to blossom, they are united in marriage. Before

Exploring Morality in Measure for Measure

754 words - 3 pages Exploring Morality in Measure for Measure    In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare is able to examine the concept of right and wrong through the characters of Mistress Overdone and Mariana. Throughout the play, by using characters that most people would find morally reprehensible, Shakespeare is able to give the audience a different view of these people and, hopefully, show his audience that people aren't always what they appear to be

Shakespeare's Measure for Measure

1994 words - 8 pages in his book Shakespeare and his Predecessors (1968), where he found four of Shakespeare's plays which presented a society sophisticated, artificial, rotten-ripe, in which 'abnormal' conditions of mind arose and 'intricate cases of conscience' demanded 'unprecedented methods of solution'. The four plays that Boas had in mind were: All's Well that Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida and Hamlet. According to Boas these plays dealt

measure for measure notes

2097 words - 8 pages for Angelo's life, the man who has tried to seduce her. She is truly an example of Christian forgiveness. THEMES Major Theme The main theme of Measure for Measure is that rational rules and regulations are necessary to maintain law and order. In Angelo's eagerness for reform, he demands "measure for measure," which means pure justice, without mercy. His belief is in 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' no matter the

Measure For Measure

1008 words - 4 pages Measure for Measure provides less freedom for woman than other Shakespearian plays given no control as an independent woman. The explanation of "Measure still for Measure" (IV.i.414) focuses on punishments and retributions as well as an obedience to transferred power. The Duke’s reign has shaped an atmosphere in Vienna fraught with indulgence and an overall disregard for the law. The Duke wishes to have more order in Vienna but is unsure how to

Similar Essays

Comparing Sexuality In All's Well That Ends Well, Measure For Measure, And Troilus And Cressida

1488 words - 6 pages Female Sexuality in All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida      Although strict chronology is a problematic proposition, most scholars believe that the problem plays - All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida - were composed in the period between Hamlet and Othello (Mabillard), a period in which Shakespeare was focusing his energies on his great tragedies.  This fact, some

Importance Of The Friars In Much Ado About Nothing And Measure For Measure

1014 words - 4 pages Importance of the Friars in Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure In the plays Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure, the friars are important instruments in their respective storyline because of their assumed pure intentions of using deception as a means to right the wrong-doing within the play. They have the authority to administer questionable plans of action because they are respected and trusted. The friars hear all

Marriage As A Form Of Justice In Measure For Measure

1505 words - 6 pages marry at the end of the play.Measure for Measure is undoubtedly an unusual play and certainly an unconventional comedy. Shakespeare may have simply been experimenting. However, knowingly or not, he was in fact catering to a female audience, for there is much comic appeal in watching reckless, brazen, and even promiscuous men forced to live what for some of them, is their worst nightmare: marriage. The women in the play seem to be given little voice

Comparing Measure For Measure And The Merchant Of Venice, As You Like It, And Twelfth Night

1994 words - 8 pages humorously with marriage; Barnardine is pardoned; and Claudio is saved.  The parallels between Measure for Measure and three other Shakespearean comedies, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, also help to classify Measure for Measure as a comedy.  In Measure for Measure, like in The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, an arbitrary law or obstacle is eventually overcome; a disguised character affects the