Measure for Measure
Elbow is a memorable character in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure. Known for his comical and bumbling nature, Elbow provides a touch of humor amidst the serious themes of the play. Although he may not be the most intelligent or articulate character, Elbows presence adds depth and entertainment to the story.
Elbow is a constable in Vienna, a city filled with corruption and moral decay. He is responsible for maintaining law and order, but his lack of intelligence often leads to confusion and misunderstandings. Despite his shortcomings, Elbow is determined to do his job to the best of his abilities.
One of Elbows most notable scenes occurs in Act 2, Scene 1, where he attempts to apprehend Mistress Overdone, a brothel owner. Elbows language is full of malapropisms and misuse of words, leading to humorous exchanges with other characters. His attempts to speak in a sophisticated manner often result in unintentional comedy, making him a beloved character among audiences.
Elbows Role in the Play
Elbows role in Measure for Measure extends beyond mere comic relief. As a representative of the law, his character highlights the theme of justice and its flaws. Elbows inability to effectively communicate and comprehend the complexities of the law emphasizes the arbitrary nature of the legal system.
Despite his comedic nature, Elbows character also serves as a reflection of the society in which he exists. Vienna is a city plagued by corruption and immorality, and Elbows lack of intelligence mirrors the ignorance and incompetence of those in power. Through his character, Shakespeare critiques the hypocrisy and moral ambiguity of the society he portrays.
In conclusion, Elbow is a comical and memorable character in Measure for Measure. While his lack of intelligence and misuse of language provide humor, his role extends beyond mere comic relief. Elbow serves as a reflection of the society in which he exists, highlighting the flaws in the legal system and the moral ambiguity of the characters around him. His presence adds depth and entertainment to the play, making him a beloved and important character in Shakespeare's work.