Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,
My vouch against you, and my place i’th’state,
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein.
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by th’affection that now guides me most
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true. [Exit]
What does this speech say about the difference in power between men and women in Vienna?
You will be silenced the moment you speak and accused of lying.
What does Angelo’s choice of language here reveal about the kind of man he really is?
To whom should I complain? Did I tell this
Who would believe me? Oh, perilous mouths
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof,
Bidding the law make curtsey to their will,
Hooking both right and wrong to th’appetite
To follow as it draws. I’ll to my brother.
Though he hath fall’n by prompture of the blood
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour
That had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks he’d yield them up
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorred pollution.
Then Isabel live chaste, and brother die:
More than our brother is our chastity.
I’ll tell him yet of Angelo’s request,
And fit his mind to death for his soul’s rest. [Exit]
Oh dangerous mouths that can both condemn or support with the same tongue and make the law bend to their wishes. They put sexual desire before what’s right and wrong.
If he had twenty heads to lay down on twenty execution blocks, he’d give them all up before letting his sister pollute her body.
Look at the repeated vowel sounds in Isabella’s speech. What can they tell you about how she feels?
(Text edited for rehearsals)