Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 1
No Fear Act 3 Scene 1 Page 3

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ISABELLA

None, but such remedy as, to save a head,
To cleave a heart in twain.

ISABELLA

None, except a way that would save his head by breaking my heart in two.

CLAUDIO

65But is there any?

CLAUDIO

But is there any?

ISABELLA

Yes, brother, you may live:
There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
If you’ll implore it, that will free your life,
But fetter you till death.

ISABELLA

Yes, brother, you can live. If you beg him, the judge will offer a devilish sort of mercy that will free you, yet chain you until death.

CLAUDIO

70Perpetual durance?

CLAUDIO

Lifetime imprisonment?

ISABELLA

Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint,
Though all the world’s vastidity you had,
To a determined scope.

ISABELLA

Yes, exactly. A type of lifetime imprisonment that would limit your movements, even if you had the freedom to roam the entire world.

CLAUDIO

But in what nature?

CLAUDIO

But what type?

ISABELLA

75In such a one as, you consenting to’t,
Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear,
And leave you naked.

ISABELLA

The type that, if you agreed to it, would strip your honor from your body like bark from a tree trunk, and leave you exposed to shame.

CLAUDIO

Let me know the point.

CLAUDIO

Get to the point.

ISABELLA

O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
80Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain,
And six or seven winters more respect
Than a perpetual honour. Darest thou die?
The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
85In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.

ISABELLA

Oh, I’m afraid of you, Claudio. I tremble to think you would cherish a wild existence and would value six or seven years of life more than everlasting honor. Do you dare to die? The worst part of death is anticipating it. A beetle we step on suffers as much as a giant when it dies.

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