Measure For Measure’s Isabella

In Shakespeare;s Measure for Measure, one of his latest;problem plays;; the character of Isabella is a focal point of arguments.In the play she is faced with a decision: either to lose her virginity and save her brother;s life, or to stay chaste, get admitted to the convent, but sealing her brother;s fate.Isabella;s choice was obviously the latter, not only did she distinctly make that choice, but she also harshly reprimanded her brother in the famous scene when he suggested that she reconsider and maybe save his life.;O you beast, O faithless coward, O dishonest wretch, wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?; (Act 3 Sc. 1137-139).Many critics have argued the subject of Isabella, whether she was right or wrong in her decision to choose her virginity over her brother;s life.;On the one hand Isabella has been idealized as the paragon of feminine virtue, on the other hand she has been denigrated as an example of frigidity;
To determine whether or not Isabella;s character in this play is chaste or self-righteous, and to determine whether or not her decision was sound, we must put it up against certain criteria.Thefirst of which is obviously religion.R.W Chambers argues that ;whatever we think of that instant decision, it is certainly not un-Christian; (Chambers 107).He goes on to prove his point by quoting verses from the bible, such as ;If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother… and brethren and sisters,… he cannot be my disciple.; (Mathew x, 36).I completely disagree with Chambers;s point, because this quote from the bible could be interpreted in many different ways.And even regardless of interpretation, it is referring to a different point, this quote was aimed at the people who;s families were against Christianity, and that the only way they could have been true Christians was to defy their famili…


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