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Quotes

Quote #4

This being granted in course,--and now follows
all,--we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up
your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter
acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to
her recompense: and here, by this, is your brother
saved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana
advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. (3.1.12)

When the Duke devises a bed trick (when one sexual partner is secretly substituted for another) that will deceive Angelo into having sex with Mariana, he reasons that, once Angelo sleeps with his ex-fiancé, he'll have to marry her.

This literary devise is a favorite of Shakespeare's, who also uses it in All's Well That Ends Well, where Bertram is duped into sleeping with Helena. In both Measure for Measure and All's Well, the bed trick is geared toward securing heterosexual marriage.

Quote #5

My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me.
Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the
duke's time; he promised her marriage: his child
is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob:
I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me! (3.2.2)

Here, we learn that Lucio has jilted Kate Keepdown, the mother of his child.  Why did Lucio break his promise to marry Kate?  Keep reading....

Quote #6

I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore.
Your highness said even now, I made you a duke:
good my lord, do not recompense me in making me a cuckold. (5.1.29)

Lucio declares that marrying a prostitute is a fate worse than torture because being hitched to a promiscuous woman will make him a "cuckold" (a man cheated on by his wife).  (Apparently, it's OK for him to have sex with Kate, but Lucio wouldn't deign to marry her.)  Lucio feels that marriage to a "whore" will compromise his masculinity and destroy his life.

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