Quotes

Measure for Measure/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Thyself and thy relations with others are not so exclusively your own to waste
upon your virtuous self; for if our virtues did not go forth, ‘twere as if we
had them not.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 32-37.  Duke to Angelo.  The Duke is about to hand over the management of the city of Vienna to Angelo. Angelo is a leading citizen in Vienna. The Duke offers Angelo great praise, setting up the central issue in the play. Angelo has a dark side. The thought is that the Duke is planning a trip to Poland.

Measure for Measure/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “Your scope is as mine own, so to enforce the laws, as to your soul seems
good.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 70-72.  Duke to Angelo.  The Duke says he is leaving Vienna and wants to leave “privily.” We don’t quite know why he says he plans to leave Vienna, or why he says he wants to leave “privily.” What we do know is that he is turning the leadership of Vienna over to Angelo and that he has said Angelo is a most honorable man. The Duke is transferring all authority to manage the city – and to enforce its laws — over to Angelo as his “soul seems good.” The sense is that the Duke believes the city needs to be managed under a tighter leash; that he has been too lenient when it comes to enforcing regulations.

Measure for Measure/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “There’s not a soldier among us who doth not before a meal pray for
peace.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 14-16.  First Gentleman to the Second.  A small group of men are talking about a rumored-to-be meeting planned between the Duke and the king of Hungary. Discussing the quote brought up by the First Gentleman, the Second Gentleman says “A dozen times at least.” The First Gentleman says “What? In meter?” The Second says “In any proportion, in any language, in any religion. Grace is grace.”

Measure for Measure/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Our natures do pursue like rats that devour their poison, a thirsty evil, and
when we drink, we die.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2,
Lines 125-127.  Claudio to Lucio.  As directed by Angelo, Claudio is publicly led through the streets to prison for “getting Julietta with child.” Angelo is now in charge of Vienna. Julietta is Claudio’s fiancée. When asked by Lucio why he is “restrained,” Claudio responds “from too much licentiousness, my Lucio.” Claudio, a classy young man, then offers this quote.

Measure for Measure/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “She hath prosperous rhetoric skills that play with reason and discourse, and
well she can persuade.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 182-184.  Claudio to Lucio.  Claudio has talked with his good friend Lucio about the nature of his problem (that his fiancée is pregnant). Claudio has asked Lucio to ask his (Claudio’s) sister to intercede with Angelo on his behalf, offering Lucio this quote. Claudio’s sister Isabella is this very day scheduled to enter the Order of Saint Clare as a novice nun.

Measure for Measure/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “If not used, in time the rod more mocked than feared.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 27-28.  Duke to Friar Thomas.  The Duke here describes the reasons he has turned leadership of Vienna over to Angelo. He uses metaphors to describe the situation as he sees it, offering this quote and noting that children don’t fear a birch-branch switch if it isn’t used. He goes on to say “the baby beats the nurse, and out goes all decorum.” The Duke is looking for a more disciplined Vienna, believing that Angelo is the man to get it done. The Duke has asked Friar Thomas to “supply me with the habit, and instruct me how I may formally in person bear like a true friar.”

Measure for Measure/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing
to attempt.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 85-87.  Lucio to Isabella.  As we say, Isabella is about to be admitted to a nunnery. Lucio asks her, on behalf of her brother Claudio, to plead with Angelo that he spare her brother from death for getting “his girlfriend with child;” Angelo has plans to use Claudio’s arrest as an example of how he plans to more strictly enforce the local laws. Claudio has told Lucio of his sister’s “rhetoric skills” and “how she can persuade.” But Isabella has told Lucio that she doesn’t have the talent or skills it would take to save her brother. Lucio tells her: “Try.” He then offers this quote. She ends up saying “I’ll see what I can do.”

Measure for Measure/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “We must not make a scarecrow of the law.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Line 1.
Angelo to Escalus.  Angelo, standing-in for the Duke of Vienna, has determined that for getting Julietta pregnant, even though she is his fiancée, Claudio is to be imprisoned and “that within these three days his head to be chopped off.” Escalus, a judge, believes the sentence is too severe. Taking a hard line, Angelo offers Escalus this quote, suggesting that we don’t want “birds of prey to perch on the scarecrow rather than to be terrorized by it.”

Measure for Measure/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “Well, heaven forgive him and forgive us all.
Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 41-42.  Escalus to himself.  Angelo has held firm to his conviction that Claudio must die for his “obvious” offense, his fiancée being pregnant. Angelo has said he wants to use this opportunity to set an example for others, saying “we stoop and take ‘t because we see it; but what we do not see, we tread upon and never think of it.” Angelo says that Claudio must “be executed by nine tomorrow morning.” Escalus offers this quote.

Measure for Measure/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “No king’s ceremony, crown, sword or robe becomes him with one half the grace
as mercy does.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 2,
Lines 79-83.  Isabella to Angelo.  With help from Lucio, Isabella is doing her best to convince Angelo that he should pardon her brother, Claudio. Angelo has imprisoned Claudio and sentenced him to die, soon. She offers Angelo this quote. She goes on to say “If he had been as you, and you as he, you would have sinned like him, but he like you would not have been so stern.” Aside, Lucio has been telling her: “You are too cold.”