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Measure for Measure :: Characters

Measure for Measure Characters

Duke Vincentio is the ruler of Vienna. He does not much enjoy pomp and circumstance, and has spent a great deal of time off in his study, during which time many laws in his city have gone disregarded. 

 
 

Angelo is a nobleman of Vienna chosen by the Duke to replace him during his absence. 

 
 

Escalus is an old lord at the Viennese court, a kind-hearted man who does not approve of over-severity.

 
 

Claudio is a young gentleman of Vienna. 

 
 

Lucio is a fop well-acquainted with brothels, who turns everything to dirty jokes. 

 
 

The First Gentleman is a fop, who spends a fair deal of time in brothels but is certain he has not caught any diseases there. 

 
 

The Second Gentleman is a fop, but one outclassed in wit by Lucio and the First Gentleman. He is not much of a churchgoer.

 
 

The Provost is in charge of the jail and its prisoners, and of showing Claudio off in the streets as an example before his execution. 

 
 

Friar Peter Thomas is a monk who helps the Duke in his deception, giving him his monk’s robe and teaching him how to play the part convincingly. 

 
 

A Justice attends on Angelo and Escalus as they discuss how they will bring back the laws in full force.

 
 

Varrius [mute role] is a lord, a friend of the Duke’s. He accompanies the Duke on his supposed return from abroad.

 
 

Elbow is a constable, a man from the lower classes who constantly mangles his words. 

 
 

Froth is a foolish gentleman who spends a great deal of his time in taverns. 

 
 

Pompey Bum is Mistress Overdone’s bartender, and helps her in her pimping. 

 
 

Abhorson is an executioner, who takes great pride in his job. 

 
 

Barnardine is a murderer who has been in jail for nine years without being executed. 

 
 

A Servant is Angelo’s doorman, in charge of letting him know when people wish to speak with him.

 
 

Isabella is Claudio’s sister, a devout, unbending novice to the order of Saint Clare, though she does not find them rigorous enough and wishes she could be even more strongly restricted by them. 

 
 

Mariana is a young lady of Vienna who was once betrothed to Angelo.  

 
 

Juliet is Claudio’s betrothed. A simple girl and a childhood friend of Isabella’s, she slept with him since they were going to be married, and ended up pregnant. 

 
 

Francisca is a nun of the order of Saint Clare, who is in charge of instructing the novice Isabella as the latter prepares to take her vows.

 
 

Mistress Overdone is a madam. When her brothel is closed down by Angelo’s order, she quickly opens another one elsewhere. 

 
 

A Boy attends on Mariana, singing sad songs to her to ease her boredom.

 
 

A Messenger brings Claudio’s final death warrant to the Provost with warnings from Angelo to have it executed quickly.

 
 
 
 
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