Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Act II, Scene 3
The Duke, disguised as a friar, visits the prison. He tells the provost that he has come to help the prisoner Claudio. From the provost, the "friar gathers information about Claudio's guilt; he also learns of the planned execution. Juliet comes into the scene and tells the "friar" that Claudio and she mutually committed the crime; she also adds that she repents for it.
In this brief scene, the Duke, in disguise, faces the accused for the first time; he willingly listens to Claudio's side of the story, which reveals that the Duke tries to deal in fairness. By revealing more of the Duke's just nature, Shakespeare makes his later intervention in the affair more believable. The Duke's disguise serves him well, for it easily gains him entrance to see Claudio.