Introduction: Monika Fludernik
In Act III, Scene i of Measure for Measure, Isabella fulfi ls the thankless task of telling her brother Claudio the result of her mission to the Duke’s deputy Angelo: if she sleeps with him, Angelo is willing to pardon her brother. Recognizing that Claudio is liable to grasp at straws and desire life over honour, she avoids telling him the whole story straight until she has moved him to the pitch of manly courage (“If I must die, / I will encounter darkness as a bride / And hug it in mine arms”, lines 82-84). Before this
point she applies circumlocution, indirection and metaphor in hinting at the truth and in order to prepare Claudio for his role as victim.