Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Where does the order Lie :: essays research papers

Where does the Order Lie? The social and political orders of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and Merchant of Venice vary, but still exhibit firm criticisms of the role of government within society. The conclusions of both of these plays return to their original order and the characters are resolved in their own ways. Measure for Measure gives the most demanding criticism of the role of political order out of most of Shakespeare’s plays. Through the actions of the Duke and Angelo, Shakespeare reveals the two distinct sides to patriarchal political order, punishment and forgiveness. Merchant of Venice shows the social order by the conflict that occurs between Shylock and Antonio. Through their conflict and eventual resolve, Shakespeare once again reveals his own personal criticisms of the justice system and a skewed image of the middle-class social order. Both of these plays represent different orders within society and also exhibit changes within them as the play progresses. The transfo rmation and the eventual restoration of political and social order in these two Shakespeare plays provide certain similar criticisms about the role that order plays within the confines of society.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The political order in Measure for Measure is a strong, yet unstable patriarchy led by the Duke. The Duke orders Antonio to take his place and carry out Vienna’s â€Å"strict statutes and most biting laws† (1.1.19). These â€Å"strict statutes† and â€Å"laws† were obviously not carried out in the time of the Duke’s patriarchal reign over the city of Vienna. The Duke’s city is falling apart and is filled with sin and lechery. He gives his powers to Angelo, and according to the Duke, â€Å"Lent him our terror, dressed him with our love,† (1.1.20), signifying that there is only two ways to restore order, through passive forgiveness, or harsh punishment. These two very important aspects of the play are the essence of a patriarchal society in which Shakespeare criticizes throughout the play. Angelo represents the patriarchal order, and when he needed to he passed his power down to his deputy, which signifies a change in the political order in the play. By the conclusion of the play, the patriarch returns and everything returns back to the way it was at the beginning.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The original order in the beginning of Merchant of Venice lies within the conflict of the two characters, Shylock and Antonio. These two represent the social order that Shakespeare is criticizing throughout the play.

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