However she sidles around it first ensuring that they

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with her. However, she sidles around it, first ensuring that they agree on moral grounds and then mentioning the specific circumstance. Isabella should not be too surprised by his reaction, given that he obviously considers fornication to be less of a sin than she does, having committed it himself. He begins to look upon her as a selfish, naive figure as he tries to convince her to sacrifice virtue for the sake of pragmatism. However, he does realize the repulsiveness of the suggestion and feels ashamed for having tried to convince her otherwise. Isabella's response to Claudio's willingness to let her accept the proposition is to criticize the act of sexual intercourse itself. She says, "Heaven shield my mother played my father fair" (III.i.141), suggesting that there was some sexual deviance in their own parents' relationship which caused him to become so cowardly and given to sinful behavior. At this point, Isabella wavers between virtue and foolishness. The play is sexually explicit in its plot and language, and Isabella emerges as a frigid, prudish figure for her willingness to sacrifice her brother's life to save her own honor. She will not be a martyr for him, and he does not wish to become a martyr for her. The Duke's solution is an easy way out, and it ends the great moment of conflict between brother and sister with a pat and unlikely solution. Perhaps Shakespeare thought the question too large to answer in five acts, and so he discards it as open-ended, replacing it with an unlikely and somewhat illogical scheme instead of examining it in more detail. ACT3 SCENE2 Summary Outside the prison, the Duke meets Elbow and Pompey. The Duke asks what crime Pompey has committed, and Elbow tells him that the clown broke the law and is also a pickpocket. Pompey protests, but the Duke will not listen, telling him to go to jail. Lucio approaches, and Pompey says he is a friend. Lucio asks what is going on, and Elbow says that Pompey is going to prison for being a bawd. Pompey asks Lucio to pay his bail, but Lucio refuses. He asks the Duke, who is still disguised as a friar, if he knows the whereabouts of the Duke. Lucio says that Angelo is strictly upholding the law in the Duke's absence. The Duke approves of this, but Lucio says that Angelo could afford to be more lenient with regard to lechery. The Duke says that lechery is a strong vice which should be cured. Lucio jokes that there are rumors that Angelo was not conceived through sexual intercourse. He also says that the Duke would not be so strict, since he himself enjoyed the pleasures of sexual relations with women. The Duke contradicts him, and the two argue. Lucio says that he suspects the Duke had a secret reason to be shy, and is told to visit the Duke upon his return. He threatens to report Lucio, but Lucio says he does not fear it. Lucio changes the subject, asking what will happen to Claudio. Lucio leaves, and Escalus enters with the provost and Mistress Overdone. He tells the provost to send Mistress Overdone to prison for running a brothel. Mistress Overdone argues that the evidence comes from Lucio, who is himself

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