Much Ado About Nothing Act 1 Scene 1 Summary

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Scene I: In the prison, the Duke, disguised as a friar, and Claudio have a conversation about Claudio’s sentence. Claudio hopes Angelo will pardon him but is prepared to die. The Duke tries to comfort him because he knows that Claudio will receive a death sentence; he says that he should not be afraid of death because it is better than life. He says life is much more complicated than death, so it is strange that we fear death more. Claudio finds a little comfort in this and thanks him. Isabella enters and goes to speak with her brother. The Duke asks the Provost to take him somewhere where he can hear their conversation without being seen. Claudio asks what happened, and Isabella tells him that there is no way for him to avoid death. Isabella says that the only…show more content…
Isabella evades them, saying that she is afraid of what he would choose. She repeats some of the same sentiments as the Duke: that death is not as scary as it seems, and that he should not think of it as a terrible thing. Claudio argues with her and says that he prepared for death if that is his only option. Isabella approves of his response and eventually tells him of Angelo’s request of her. Claudio is disgusted by Angelo’s demand. Isabella says that she would give her life for Claudio, but not her virginity. Claudio doesn’t understand how Angelo can have these desires and still enforce the law against them. He says that lechery is not a sin, or perhaps the mildest of them. Claudio changes his mind and asks his sister to give up her virginity for him, saying that a sin to save her brother's life would become a virtue. Isabella gets angry and calls her brother a coward, saying that it is a kind of incest to require her to have sexual intercourse in order to save his life. The Duke comes out from his hiding place and says that he would like to speak with Isabella. First, he tells Claudio that he overheard their conversation. He says Angelo was not actually propositioning Isabella, but only testing

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