Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 1
No Fear Act 3 Scene 1 Page 6

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ISABELLA

Alas, alas!

ISABELLA

Oh, no!

CLAUDIO

145Sweet sister, let me live:
What sin you do to save a brother’s life,
Nature dispenses with the deed so far
That it becomes a virtue.

CLAUDIO

Sweet sister, let me live. Any sin you commit to save a brother’s life, nature will pardon as though it were a good deed.

ISABELLA

O you beast!
150O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
Is’t not a kind of incest, to take life
From thine own sister’s shame? What should I think?
Heaven shield my mother play’d my father fair!
155For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne’er issued from his blood. Take my defiance!
Die, perish! Might but my bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed:
I’ll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,
160No word to save thee.

ISABELLA

Oh, you beast! Treacherous coward! Shameful wretch!
Will you be given your life as a result of my vice? Isn’t it a kind of incest, to gain life from your own sister’s shame? What should I think? God forbid, my mother must have cheated on my father, for such a twisted son as you never could have sprung from his blood! I renounce you—die, perish! Even if all I had to do was pray on bended knees to stop your execution, I’d let it happen. I’ll pray a thousand prayers for your death, and not one word to save you.

CLAUDIO

Nay, hear me, Isabel.

CLAUDIO

No, listen to me, Isabel.

ISABELLA

O, fie, fie, fie!
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
165’Tis best thou diest quickly.

ISABELLA

Oh, shame, shame, shame! Your sin was no one-time accident, but a habit. Granting you mercy would be like pimping, enabling you to do it again. It’s best that you die right away.

CLAUDIO

O hear me, Isabella!

CLAUDIO

Oh, listen to me, Isabella!

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