Shakespeare's main characters are never ‘flat'; they are always complex, and their motives may be mixed or, as in the case of Iago from Othello, effectively unfathomable. Sometimes they share their thoughts with the audience, in soliloquies, but the audience still has to decide whether or not these comments can be trusted, or whether Shakespeare is depicting someone who is self-deluded.

In Measure for Measure many of the characters present problems for the audience – which is one reason why critics often call it ‘a Problem Play'.

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