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Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2 Page 11

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DUKE VINCENTIO

245If his own life answer the straitness of his
proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he
chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.

DUKE VINCENTIO

If his own behavior matches the strictness of his judgments, it’s to his credit. But if he slips, he’s written his own sentence.

ESCALUS

I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.

ESCALUS

I’m going to visit the prisoner. Goodbye.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Peace be with you!

DUKE VINCENTIO

Peace be with you!
Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost
ESCALUS and the Provost exit.
250He who the sword of heaven will bear
Should be as holy as severe;
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go;
More nor less to others paying
255Than by self-offences weighing.
Shame to him whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking!
Twice treble shame on Angelo,
To weed my vice and let his grow!
260O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
How may likeness made in crimes,
Making practise on the times,
To draw with idle spiders’ strings
265Most ponderous and substantial things!
Craft against vice I must apply:
With Angelo to-night shall lie
His old betrothed but despised;
So disguise shall, by the disguised,
270Pay with falsehood false exacting,
And perform an old contracting.
(to himself) He who wants to be a ruler and enact heaven’s justice should be as holy as he is severe. He should find in himself a model of proper conduct, the grace to stand firm, and the strength to go forward, punishing others no more or less than he’d punish his own sins. Shame on him who cruelly strikes and kills others for the very faults he possesses! Shame on Angelo six times over, for weeding out my vice while nurturing his own! Oh, what evil an angelic-looking man can hide in himself! How this seemingly virtuous behavior, born out of sin, can deceive everyone! It’s like a spider web that traps small sins like small insects, but breaks when anything large and heavy touches it. I must combat vice with cunning. Tonight Angelo will sleep with his rejected, former fiancée. By deceit, the deceiver will be forced to pay for his wrongful demands, and fulfill his old contract.

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