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Quotes

Quote #7

You rogue, I have been drinking all night; I am not
fitted for 't. (4.3.4)

When Barnardine informs the officials that he is simply too hungover to be executed that day, we're pretty astonished (and amused), especially given the fact that the Duke plans to substitute Barnardine's head for Claudio's.  It seems like Barnardine's role in the play is to draw our attention to the immorality and hypocrisy of the Duke's plan.

Quote #8

O my dread lord,
I should be guiltier than my guiltiness,
To think I can be undiscernible,
When I perceive your grace, like power divine,
Hath look'd upon my passes. Then, good prince,
No longer session hold upon my shame,
But let my trial be mine own confession:
Immediate sentence then and sequent death
Is all the grace I beg. (5.1.7)

When Duke Vincentio pulls off his friar's hood and reveals his true identity, Angelo knows the jig is up and confesses immediately.  What's interesting about this passage is the way Angelo compares the Duke to an all-knowing, all-seeing "power divine."  While Angelo associates the Duke's disguise with the omniscience of God, the audience may wonder at the seeming sacrilegious nature of the Duke's behavior.  After all, what kind of a man impersonates a friar? 

Quote #9

I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
As you, Lord Angelo, have still appear'd,
Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood.
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward. (5.1.14)

When Escalus lights into Angelo for being corrupt on the inside while appearing so "learned and wise" on the outside, he uses the language of minting (coining) to describe Angelo's fall from grace.  Here, Escalus plays on the word "slip," which literally means "to make a mistake," and is also a name for a counterfeit coin.  Check out "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory" if you want to know more about the play's obsession with coin metaphors and imagery.

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