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Measure for Measure Characters

Vincentio, the Duke

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. 

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

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

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

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First Gentleman

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. 

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Second Gentleman

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. 

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Friar Peter Thomas

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. 

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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. 

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

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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. 

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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. 

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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.


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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