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Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure Translation Act 4, Scene 4

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Enter ANGELO and ESCALUS

ESCALUS

Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched other.

ESCALUS

Every letter the Duke has sent has contradicted the others.

ANGELO

In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions show much like to madness: pray heaven his wisdom be not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and redeliver our authorities there?

ANGELO

And in such a random, irresponsible way, too. He's starting to seem a little crazy. I pray to God that he hasn't gone insane! And why would I meet him at the gates to hand over my power to him there?

ESCALUS

I guess not.

ESCALUS

I have no idea.

ANGELO

And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his entering, that if any crave redress of injustice, they should exhibit their petitions in the street?

ANGELO

And why do we have to announce an hour before he gets here that—if anyone wants to appeal a case of injustice—they should make their case in the street?

ESCALUS

He shows his reason for that: to have a dispatch of complaints, and to deliver us from devices hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand against us.

ESCALUS

He explained the reason for that. So he can hear all the complaints before we step down. That way, they won't bother us afterward. 

ANGELO

Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaimed betimes i' the morn; I 'll call you at your house: give notice to such men of sort and suit as are to meet him.

ANGELO

Well, then, I command you to make the announcement in the morning. Inform the appropriate people to be ready to meet him.

ESCALUS

I shall, sir. Fare you well.

ESCALUS

I will, sir. Goodbye.

ANGELO

Good night.

ANGELO

Good night.

Exit ESCALUS

This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid! And by an eminent body that enforced The law against it! But that her tender shame Will not proclaim against her maiden loss, How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares her no; For my authority bears of a credent bulk, That no particular scandal once can touch But it confounds the breather. He should have lived, Save that riotous youth, with dangerous sense, Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge, By so receiving a dishonour'd life With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had lived! A lack, when once our grace we have forgot, Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not.

This command puts me in a tough position, and makes me less excited about all my plans. A girl forced to give up her virginity by a powerful ruler, under threat of the law? If she weren't worried about her reputation, she might ruin mine! But she'd be stupid to do that. My authority is so respected that no one can say a harsh word against me; it would only make them look bad. Claudio should have lived. But that wild boy—with his crazy behavior—might have come to take revenge on me because of the way I dishonored his sister. But if only he had lived! That's the problem: once we've lost our minds, nothing goes right. We want something and we don't want it at the same time.

Exit

Measure for measure
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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.