The friary

Ross Friary Cloister Arcades West. Photo by Andreas F Borchert, available through Creative CommonsThere are several friars within Measure for Measure, and early in the play the audience is asked to imagine that they actually visit a friary - the house which acts as the base for a religious order whose members usually travel around offering spiritual comfort. It is the first place which the Duke visits after leaving the court, and here he asks to borrow a friar's robe. In this scene (Act I sc iii) we meet a real Friar, Friar Thomas, and in Act IV another, Friar Peter.

In this way there is a distinction drawn between the Duke's outward appearance as a friar and the actual role of a religious adviser which he undertakes – rightly or wrongly, this being a matter for the audience to decide (see also Imagery and symbolism >Disguise and seeming).

Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.