Dowry problem in Measure for Measure


Measure for Measure” composed by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). It represents the environment of the contemporary age including the moral, social, and political atmosphere. we can notice more than one social problem Kingdome in Duke of Vienna, especially the dowry problem. 

More Notes: Measure for Measure

Evidence of dowry problem 

The dramatist has bitterly criticized one of the social problems dowry system.  At that time dowry is more important than the relationship. The characters Mariana and Juliet are victims of the social vice dowry. The bitterness of dowry is raised at its high peak in society. Claudio has denied the marriage due to dowry later we notice that he has made pregnant Juliet before marriage. When he was sentenced to death by Angelo, he replied that he loved her and stayed with her. 

Mariana is another victim of the dowry system. she is the sister of a great soldier named Frederick. Mariana has been engaged to Angelo. But Angelo has denied marrying Mariana due to dowry. the dowry of Mariana’s marriage was carrying her brother Frederick but unfortunately, a shipwreck happened in the sea and Frederick lost the entire marriage dowry to Mariana. 

When Frederick informs Angelo that he has lost all amount of Marina’s bride price at sea in a shipwreck Angelo, refuses to marry Maiana without the dowry. Thus, he breaks off his engagement with Mariana. In short, in In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare indicates the evil treatment of the dowry system. 

More Notes: Suggestions


Dowry is nothing but a curse for any society. Measure for Measure gives us a gloomy picture of a society where paying dowry is a custom and all women are victims of the dowry system. 

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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