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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 3 page paper which examines the message of forgiveness and mercy in these two plays. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
3 pages (~225 words per page)
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that would erupt into a memorable climax before resolution in the final act. Two of Shakespeares morality plays, Measure for Measure and The Tempest, featured the themes of forgiveness
and mercy. In Measure for Measure, the theme was examined primarily within a predominantly external legal context, whereas in The Tempest, the conclusion depended upon whether or not the
protagonist had within himself the capacity for mercy and forgiveness. These works show the Bard at his most contemplative and ultimately compassionate. In Measure for Measure, Vincentio, the Duke
of Vienna decides to take a sojourn in Poland and leads his trusted deputy, Angelo, in charge. He believes that Angelo, a man of seemingly incorruptible virtue, will be
able to restore law and order when men and women begin openly living together and engaging in sexual relationships without marriage. However, to make certain his instincts are correct,
the Duke disguises himself as a friar to observe what takes place during his supposed absence. Angelo wastes no time in imposing the strictest morality codes in Vienna, which
includes shutting down local brothels and resurrecting old laws to severely punish those he deems guilty of sexual misconduct. The plays central conflict involves Claudio, who had been living
out of wedlock with his lover, Juliet, prior to her marriage and she subsequently became pregnant. Although their sexual intercourse was consensual, Angelo convicts Claudio of impropriety and sentences
him to death by beheading. However, during this time, Angelo, seemingly a paragon of virtue, has been engaging in sexual activities with Mariana, which based on the laws he
reinstated would have made him as guilty as Claudio. Meanwhile, Claudios sister, the devoutly religious Isabella, pleads her brothers case to Angelo, who suggests he might be persuaded to