A Character Analysis of Angelo in Measure for Measure

Topics: Measure for Measure, Angelo Torres, Interior Pages: 3 (905 words) Published: May 2, 2007
A Character Analysis of Angelo: Outer Angel and Inner Devil

There is a wide array of deceptiveness within the play "Measure for Measure." While some of the reasons for deception are good, other reasons are filled with evil and only for personal gain. Angelo is a perfect example of one of the characters within this play who uses his deceptive nature for evil and only for the gratification of himself. He is given a very superior and authoritative role by Vincentio, the Duke, and extends his powers to the most extreme of measures. Unlike the Duke, Angelo is stern and goes to the furthest extent to have his voice be heard. This complex play allows the reader to see two sides of Angelo, his outer angel and his inner devil. By exploring the reasons for which these two traits can be determined, the reader gets a better understanding of Angelo's character and determines for him or herself which trait is more dominant over the other.

Angelo believes himself to be the model for good behavior. Before the Duke leaves the city of Vienna, he does not rule under a strict thumb. The Duke leaves Angelo to keep rule over the city during his absence because he knows that Angelo will rid the city of the numerous amounts of fighting and fornication that has been going on in Vienna. The Duke speaks in (I.iii.19-21) "We have strict statutes and most biting laws,/ The needful bit and curbs to headlong weeds,/ Which for this fourteen years we have let slip…"Angelo is stern in his character and the Duke is fully aware that Angelo will make sure that the laws of the land are upheld.

Since Angelo is portraying to be the model for good behavior, there has to be an example made out of someone. Unfortunately, Claudio is the one who reaps the wrath of Angelo. Escalus understands that there has to be something done about Claudio's offense of the law, but it does not seem as if he is in total agreement when Angelo sentences Claudio to death for fornication. As a result of Escalus'...
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