Duke Vincentio decides to leave Vienna and appoints Lord Angelo as his deputy to rule in his absence. He is concerned that Vienna has recently become lax in its moral behaviour and Angelo attempts to turn the city around with his strict enforcement of the laws against immorality. His stringent law enforcement results in imprisonment and a death sentence for Claudio, whose fiancé, Juliet, is pregnant with their child. Claudio’s friend, Lucio, delivers this news to Claudio’s sister, Isabella, who is preparing to take her vows at the local convent. Concerned for her brother, Isabella decides that she must seek mercy from Angelo.
However it soon becomes clear that the Duke has not left Vienna at all. Instead, he has disguised himself as a friar and is determined to discover what his people really think about him in his ‘absence’. He also wants to know how they react to Lord Angelo’s strict rule. In his role as the friar, he visits the prison where he tries to persuade
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