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.
Isabella: Oh, you beast!
Oh faithless coward, oh 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? (3.1.133-140)
The above exchange between Isabella and her brother Claudio encapsulates the central dilemma of Measure for Measure: should Isabella, a novice nun, surrender her virginity to Angelo in order to save Claudio’s life? The play is full of similar sexual, religious, moral and socio-political questions, such as the …