The play begins with a certain amount of confusion. The Duke is inexplicably anxious, his speech unnecessarily convoluted, his intentions unclear to his subordinates who are stunned by his unannounced abrogation of power. Although some of the speeches are long, they should be delivered hastily. The Duke is being abstruse and unpredictable. As soon as he has taken Escalus into his confidence, he immediately makes Angelo his Deputy. For Angelo and Escalus and perhaps for the audience as well, the Duke’s behaviour is utterly baffling. Angelo especially seems uncomfortable with his promotion.
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