Measure for Measure

Back to List of Characters


Meet Servant, a minor character in William Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure. While Servant may not have a prominent role in the play, he serves as a crucial link in the unfolding of the plot.

Servant is a loyal and trusted servant of Lord Angelo, the deputy ruler of Vienna. He is known for his dedication and efficiency in carrying out his master's orders. Servant is often seen by Angelo's side, assisting him in his official duties and ensuring that everything runs smoothly in the city.

One of Servant's notable moments in the play is when he delivers a message to Isabella, a nun, regarding her brother Claudio's arrest. This pivotal moment sets the stage for the moral dilemma that Isabella will face later on. Servant's role in this scene is crucial in establishing the conflict that drives the plot forward.

The Courtyard Scene

In the middle of the play, Servant finds himself in the midst of a tense and dramatic scene in the courtyard of the prison. Here, he witnesses the confrontation between Isabella and Angelo, where Isabella pleads for her brother's life. As an onlooker, Servant is a silent witness to the emotional exchange between the two characters.

Servant's presence in this scene adds an element of realism and serves as a reminder of the power dynamics at play in Vienna. He symbolizes the common man caught in the web of the higher authorities' decisions, unable to intervene or alter the course of events.

In addition to his role in the plot, Servant also represents the lower class in society. His character offers a glimpse into the lives of the working class during Shakespeare's time, highlighting the stark contrast between the privileged and the less fortunate.

While Servant may not have the depth and complexity of the main characters in Measure for Measure, his presence serves a purpose in the overall narrative. He adds a layer of authenticity and relatability to the play, making it more accessible to the audience.

So, next time you watch or read Measure for Measure, pay attention to the character of Servant. Despite his limited stage time, he plays a significant role in shaping the events of the play.