quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Quotes » Measure for Measure » It is the law, not I, condemn your brother

It is the law, not I, condemn your brother

It is the law, not I, condemn your brother.
Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son,
It should be thus with him. He must die tomorrow.
Tomorrow? O, that’s sudden! Spare him, spare him.
He’s not prepared for death.Epizeuxis
Even for our kitchens
We kill the fowl of season. Shall we serve heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves?Analogy & Rhetorical Question
Good, good my lord, bethink you.
HypophoraWho is it that hath died for this offense?
There’s many have committed it.Epizeuxis

She speaks, and ’tis such sense
That my sense breeds with it.

Lucio, aside to Isabella
Ay, well said.
The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.Personification
Those many had not dared to do that evil
If the first that did th’ edict infringe
Had answered for his deed. Now ’tis awake,
Takes note of what is done, and, Similelike a prophet,
Looks in a glass that shows what future evils—
Either now, or by remissness new-conceived,
And so in progress to be hatched and born—
Are now to have no successive degrees
But, ere they live, to end.Personification

Yet show some pity.
I show it most of all when I show justice,
For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismissed offense would after gall,
And do him right that, answering one foul wrong,
Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
Your brother dies tomorrow; be content.
So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
And he that suffers.Ellipsis
O, it is excellent
To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.Analogy & Antithesis

Lucio, aside to Isabella
That’s well said.
Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would never be quiet,
For every Alliterationpelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder,
Nothing but thunder.Simile & Diacopes
Merciful heaven,
Thou rather with thy Alliterationsharp and sulphurous bolt
Splits the unwedgeable and gnarlèd oak,
Than the soft myrtle. DiacopeBut man, proud man,
MetaphorDressed in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
His glassy essence, Similelike an angry ape
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep, who with our spleens
Would all themselves laugh mortal.Apostrophe & Analogy

Lucio, aside to Isabella
O, to him, to him, wench.Epizeuxis He will relent.
He’s coming. I perceive ’t.
Provost, aside
Pray heaven she win him.
We cannot weigh our brother with ourself.
Analogy & DichotomyGreat men may jest with saints; ’tis wit in them,
But in the less, Ellipsisfoul profanation.Metaphor

Lucio, aside to Isabella
Thou ’rt i’ th’ right, girl. More o’ that.
That in the captain’s but a choleric word
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.Analogy & Dichotomy

Lucio, aside to Isabella
Art avised o’ that? More on ’t.
Why do you put these sayings upon me?
Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself
That skins the vice o’ th’ top.Metaphor
Go to your bosom,
Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know
That’s like my brother’s fault. If it confess
A natural guiltiness such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother’s life.Synecdoche

Angelo, aside
She speaks, and ’tis such sense
That my sense breeds with it.Antanaclasis
 He begins to exit.
Fare you well.
Gentle my lord, turn back.
I will bethink me. Come again tomorrow.
Hark how I’ll bribe you. Good my lord, turn back.
How? Bribe me?
Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.
Lucio, aside to Isabella
You had marred all else.
Not with fond sicles of the tested gold,
Or stones whose rate are either rich or poor
As fancy values them, but with true prayers
That shall be up at heaven and enter there
Ere sunrise, prayers from preservèd souls,
From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.Dichotomy

Well, come to me tomorrow.
Lucio, aside to Isabella
Go to, ’tis well; away.
Heaven keep your Honor safe.
Angelo, aside
For I am that way going to temptation
Where prayers cross.