Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 20

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DUKE VINCENTIO

He dies for Claudio’s death.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He dies for Claudio’s death.

ISABELLA

475(Kneeling) Most bounteous sir, Look, if it please you, on this man condemn’d,
As if my brother lived: I partly think
A due sincerity govern’d his deeds,
Till he did look on me: since it is so,
Let him not die. My brother had but justice,
480In that he did the thing for which he died:
For Angelo,
His act did not o’ertake his bad intent,
And must be buried but as an intent
That perish’d by the way: thoughts are no subjects;
485Intents but merely thoughts.

ISABELLA

(kneeling) Generous sir, please look on this condemned man as if my brother were still alive. To some extent, I think his behavior was sincere, until he laid eyes on me. So, don’t let him die. My brother was justly treated, in the sense that he did the thing he was executed for. But Angelo didn’t actually fulfill his bad intentions, and his behavior should be considered with that fact in mind. Intentions are merely thoughts, and thoughts aren’t subject to our control.

MARIANA

Merely, my lord.

MARIANA

Merely, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Your suit’s unprofitable; stand up, I say.
I have bethought me of another fault.
Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded
490At an unusual hour?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Your pleading’s no use. Stand up, I say. Another crime has just occurred to me. Provost, why was Claudio beheaded at such an unusual hour?

PROVOST

It was commanded so.

PROVOST

It was so ordered.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Had you a special warrant for the deed?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Did you have a special warrant?

PROVOST

No, my good lord; it was by private message.

PROVOST

No, my good lord, it was a private message.

DUKE VINCENTIO

For which I do discharge you of your office:
495Give up your keys.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You’re fired for this. Turn in your keys.

PROVOST

Pardon me, noble lord:
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
Yet did repent me, after more advice;
For testimony whereof, one in the prison,
500That should by private order else have died,
I have reserved alive.

PROVOST

Forgive me, noble lord. I thought it might be wrong, but wasn’t sure. After further consideration, I did change my mind, and to prove I did, I kept alive another prisoner who was to be executed by a private order.

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