Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 2

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ISABELLA

Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard
Upon a wrong’d, I would fain have said, a maid!
O worthy prince, dishonour not your eye
By throwing it on any other object
25Till you have heard me in my true complaint
And given me justice, justice, justice, justice!

ISABELLA

Justice, royal duke! Look down here, at a girl—I wish I could say a virgin—who has been wronged. Oh, worthy prince, don’t consider anything else until you’ve heard my valid case and given me justice, justice, justice, justice!

DUKE VINCENTIO

Relate your wrongs; in what? by whom? be brief.
Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice:
Reveal yourself to him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Describe how you’ve been wronged—in what way? By whom? Be brief. Lord Angelo here will give you justice. Tell him your complaint.

ISABELLA

30O worthy duke,
You bid me seek redemption of the devil:
Hear me yourself; for that which I must speak
Must either punish me, not being believed,
Or wring redress from you. Hear me, O hear me, here!

ISABELLA

Oh, worthy duke, you’re urging me to ask the devil for help. Listen to me yourself. What I have to say will result either in you not believing and punishing me, or you feeling compelled to right the wrong. Hear me, oh hear me, here!

ANGELO

35My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm:
She hath been a suitor to me for her brother
Cut off by course of justice,—

ANGELO

My lord, I’m afraid she’s not in her right mind. She’s appeared before me, begging for her brother, who was executed by the justice system—

ISABELLA

By course of justice!

ISABELLA

By the justice system!

ANGELO

And she will speak most bitterly and strange.

ANGELO

And she will speak in a very bitter, strange way.

ISABELLA

40Most strange, but yet most truly, will I speak:
That Angelo’s forsworn; is it not strange?
That Angelo’s a murderer; is ’t not strange?
That Angelo is an adulterous thief,
An hypocrite, a virgin-violator;
45Is it not strange and strange?

ISABELLA

I’ll speak strangely, but truthfully. That Angelo’s a liar, isn’t that strange? That Angelo’s a murderer, isn’t that strange? That Angelo’s an adulterous thief, a hypocrite, a man who rapes virgins, isn’t that extremely strange?

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