A dark drama of hypocrisy, true goodness compared with true evil, sin and forgiveness--Measure for Measure takes place in Vienna, where the Duke Vincentio makes it known that he is leaving the city in the hands of the strict and incorruptible Angelo while he undertakes a diplomatic mission. In reality, he's disguising himself as a friar in order to mix with the citizens, gauge public opinion, and test Angelo's true character.
Angelo begins his rule by taking a zero-tolerance approach to the city's fornication law, sentencing to death a young gentleman named Claudio, in spite of the fact that Claudio's betrothal to his co-offender Juliet was only a few technicalities short of marriage. When Claudio's sister Isabella, a novice nun, goes to plead with Angelo for her brother's life, her beauty and purity cause Angelo to show his true colours: he'll spare Claudio's life if Isabella will break the same law--with him. Isabella, no moral pushover, declares that Claudio will just have to die; but the mysterious newcomer Friar Ludovico, who knows about Angelo's abandoned fiancee Mariana, has a better idea...
|But Isabella, my feet are cold...|
I have seen and can recommend the BBC version of Measure for Measure with Kenneth Colley as the Duke, Tim Pigott-Smith as Angelo, and Kate Nelligan as a very convincing Isabella.