A line-by-line translation

Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure Translation Table of Contents

Now you can read Measure for Measure alongside a modern translation that anyone can understand. Use the translation to enrich your understanding of Shakespeare's original and avoid getting bogged down in archaic language.

Act 1, Scene 1

Duke Vincentio decides to leave Vienna for a while, and appoints Angelo to rule in his place.

Act 1, Scene 2

Lucio learns that Mistress Overdone's brothel is going to be shut down, and that Claudio is sentenced to death.

Act 1, Scene 3

The Duke convinces a friar to lend him his clothes as a disguise.

Act 1, Scene 4

Lucio tells Claudio's sister Isabella that Claudio has been sentenced to death. She goes to ask Angelo to spare Claudio.

Act 2, Scene 1

Assisted by Escalus and the bumbling constable Elbow, Angelo harshly judges Pompey and Froth.

Act 2, Scene 2

The Provost objects to Angelo's judgment. Isabella asks Angelo to pardon her brother. Angelo becomes attracted to her.

Act 2, Scene 3

Disguised as a friar, The Duke hears the confession of Juliet, Claudio's pregnant girlfriend.

Act 2, Scene 4

Angelo and Isabella debate if sex is really a crime. He asks her to sleep with him in exchange for Claudio's freedom.

Act 3, Scene 1

Isabella reports Angelo's request to Claudio. The Duke plots to trick Angelo into sleeping with his own fiancée.

Act 3, Scene 2

Pompey and Mistress Overdone are taken to prison. Lucio annoys the disguised Duke by telling tall tales about himself.

Act 4, Scene 1

The disguised Duke introduces Isabella to Angelo's one-time fiancée, Mariana, and explains a plot.

Act 4, Scene 2

When Angelo doesn't pardon Claudio, the Duke instructs the provost to send Barnadine's head to Angelo as a decoy.

Act 4, Scene 3

Barnadine resists; another head is sent. The Duke tells Isabella that Claudio died. She will publicly accuse Angelo.

Act 4, Scene 4

Angelo receives a letter telling him to meet the Duke outside the city gates to give up his power. He becomes nervous.

Act 4, Scene 5

The Duke asks a friar to send letters to his friends in the city.

Act 4, Scene 6

Isabella and Mariana prepare to stop the Duke on his procession through town so that they can publicly accuse Angelo.

Act 5, Scene 1

The Duke's plot comes together: Angelo marries Mariana, Claudio and Juliet are pardoned, and the Duke marries Isabella.
Bailey sincox
About the Translator: Bailey Sincox

Bailey Sincox is a PhD student in English at Harvard University, where she researches the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her teaching experience includes accessible online courses with edX on Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. She holds a Master's from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's from Duke University.