Speeches (Lines) for Claudio
in "Measure for Measure"

Total: 35

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,2,206

(stage directions). [Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers]

Claudio. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.


2

I,2,210

Provost. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from Lord Angelo by special charge.

Claudio. Thus can the demigod Authority
Make us pay down for our offence by weight
The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will;
On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.


3

I,2,216

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio! whence comes this restraint?

Claudio. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty:
As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue,
Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,
A thirsty evil; and when we drink we die.


4

I,2,227

Lucio. If could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would
send for certain of my creditors: and yet, to say
the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom
as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy
offence, Claudio?

Claudio. What but to speak of would offend again.


5

I,2,229

Lucio. What, is't murder?

Claudio. No.


6

I,2,231

Lucio. Lechery?

Claudio. Call it so.


7

I,2,233

Provost. Away, sir! you must go.

Claudio. One word, good friend. Lucio, a word with you.


8

I,2,236

Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.
Is lechery so look'd after?

Claudio. Thus stands it with me: upon a true contract
I got possession of Julietta's bed:
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order: this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower
Remaining in the coffer of her friends,
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love
Till time had made them for us. But it chances
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment
With character too gross is writ on Juliet.


9

I,2,248

Lucio. With child, perhaps?

Claudio. Unhappily, even so.
And the new deputy now for the duke—
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness,
Or whether that the body public be
A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his emmence that fills it up,
I stagger in:—but this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall
So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on me: 'tis surely for a name.


10

I,2,268

Lucio. I warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle on
thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love,
may sigh it off. Send after the duke and appeal to
him.

Claudio. I have done so, but he's not to be found.
I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
This day my sister should the cloister enter
And there receive her approbation:
Acquaint her with the danger of my state:
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him:
I have great hope in that; for in her youth
There is a prone and speechless dialect,
Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade.


11

I,2,285

Lucio. I pray she may; as well for the encouragement of the
like, which else would stand under grievous
imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I
would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a
game of tick-tack. I'll to her.

Claudio. I thank you, good friend Lucio.


12

I,2,287

Lucio. Within two hours.

Claudio. Come, officer, away!


13

III,1,1224

Vincentio. So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?

Claudio. The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope:
I've hope to live, and am prepared to die.


14

III,1,1264

Vincentio. Be absolute for death; either death or life
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skyey influences,
That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun
And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'st
Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get,
And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor;
For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear's thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age,
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid moe thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.

Claudio. I humbly thank you.
To sue to live, I find I seek to die;
And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.


15

III,1,1270

Vincentio. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.

Claudio. Most holy sir, I thank you.


16

III,1,1278

(stage directions). [Exeunt DUKE VINCENTIO and Provost]

Claudio. Now, sister, what's the comfort?


17

III,1,1286

Isabella. Why,
As all comforts are; most good, most good indeed.
Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
Intends you for his swift ambassador,
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
To-morrow you set on.

Claudio. Is there no remedy?


18

III,1,1289

Isabella. None, but such remedy as, to save a head,
To cleave a heart in twain.

Claudio. But is there any?


19

III,1,1294

Isabella. Yes, brother, you may live:
There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
But fetter you till death.

Claudio. Perpetual durance?


20

III,1,1298

Isabella. Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint,
Though all the world's vastidity you had,
To a determined scope.

Claudio. But in what nature?


21

III,1,1302

Isabella. In such a one as, you consenting to't,
Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear,
And leave you naked.

Claudio. Let me know the point.


22

III,1,1311

Isabella. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain,
And six or seven winters more respect
Than a perpetual honour. Darest thou die?
The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.

Claudio. Why give you me this shame?
Think you I can a resolution fetch
From flowery tenderness? If I must die,
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.


23

III,1,1325

Isabella. There spake my brother; there my father's grave
Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die:
Thou art too noble to conserve a life
In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,
Whose settled visage and deliberate word
Nips youth i' the head and follies doth emmew
As falcon doth the fowl, is yet a devil
His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.

Claudio. The prenzie Angelo!


24

III,1,1331

Isabella. O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
The damned'st body to invest and cover
In prenzie guards! Dost thou think, Claudio?
If I would yield him my virginity,
Thou mightst be freed.

Claudio. O heavens! it cannot be.


25

III,1,1336

Isabella. Yes, he would give't thee, from this rank offence,
So to offend him still. This night's the time
That I should do what I abhor to name,
Or else thou diest to-morrow.

Claudio. Thou shalt not do't.


26

III,1,1340

Isabella. O, were it but my life,
I'ld throw it down for your deliverance
As frankly as a pin.

Claudio. Thanks, dear Isabel.


27

III,1,1342

Isabella. Be ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow.

Claudio. Yes. Has he affections in him,
That thus can make him bite the law by the nose,
When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin,
Or of the deadly seven, it is the least.


28

III,1,1347

Isabella. Which is the least?

Claudio. If it were damnable, he being so wise,
Why would he for the momentary trick
Be perdurably fined? O Isabel!


29

III,1,1351

Isabella. What says my brother?

Claudio. Death is a fearful thing.


30

III,1,1353

Isabella. And shamed life a hateful.

Claudio. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
Of those that lawless and incertain thought
Imagine howling: 'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.


31

III,1,1369

Isabella. Alas, alas!

Claudio. Sweet sister, let me live:
What sin you do to save a brother's life,
Nature dispenses with the deed so far
That it becomes a virtue.


32

III,1,1385

Isabella. O you beast!
O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
Is't not a kind of incest, to take life
From thine own sister's shame? What should I think?
Heaven shield my mother play'd my father fair!
For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne'er issued from his blood. Take my defiance!
Die, perish! Might but my bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed:
I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,
No word to save thee.

Claudio. Nay, hear me, Isabel.


33

III,1,1390

Isabella. O, fie, fie, fie!
Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade.
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
'Tis best thou diest quickly.

Claudio. O hear me, Isabella!


34

III,1,1411

Vincentio. Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you
and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to
corrupt her; only he hath made an essay of her
virtue to practise his judgment with the disposition
of natures: she, having the truth of honour in her,
hath made him that gracious denial which he is most
glad to receive. I am confessor to Angelo, and I
know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to
death: do not satisfy your resolution with hopes
that are fallible: tomorrow you must die; go to
your knees and make ready.

Claudio. Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love
with life that I will sue to be rid of it.


35

IV,2,1951

Provost. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:
[Exeunt POMPEY and ABHORSON]
The one has my pity; not a jot the other,
Being a murderer, though he were my brother.
[Enter CLAUDIO]
Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow
Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine?

Claudio. As fast lock'd up in sleep as guiltless labour
When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones:
He will not wake.


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