Isabella, the Perfectly Pious young woman.
Angelo, the hypocritical
Claudio, the lovesick coward
Vincentio, the Dreamy Duke
This play is one of Shakespeare’s more serious comedies. It is a tough topic, really. How far should the ruler apply the rules? And how strict should the individual be on themselves?
Isabella is swoongling ready to dedicate her life to God as a nun. Her brother Claudio is not as ascetic as she is, he’s getting busy with a girl. He’s going to marry her any day now, so he’s not worried about it.
The good and just Duke leaves town, and Angelo is in charge. He is a staunch Puritan-type, and he’s not going to stand for the loose morals this town is coming to. He catches Claudio in the act with his lover-girl and plans to make an example of him.
Isabella is persuaded to go to Angelo and plead for her brother’s life, even though she herself condemns his actions. And what do you think happens?
Angelo falls in deep lust of Viola! What do you suppose he proposes to Isabella as a way of “buying” her brothers life?
Isabella loves her brother, but she is in love with her own purity too. Whatever shall our heroes do?
I studied this one in college, and enjoyed it very much.
TONIGHT, I get to see it live! I’m very excited. Live, outside, and FREE! and on the coast, so I won’t be hot.
Here in LA, there is a lot of opportunity to see shakespeare for free. So many people here are into that sort of thing–acting, I mean.
I encourage all of you out there to check and see when your community might be having some theater. There is really nothing like seeing a play done live in front of you. It’s totally different from reading it.
If you don’t know this particular play, check out the pelican version.