'Angelo is... the most contemptible kind of hypocrite'
'Isabella's preoccupation with her chastity shows 'spiritual arrogance'
'Sexual desire has long been an anathema to [Angelo], so his warped idealism forbids any healthy love'
'Marriage as an instrument for controlling desire'
'There was a strand of loathing for sexuality in any form'
'[Angelo's] chief faults are self-deception and pride in his own righteousness'
'The duke disguised as a friar, moves through the play, a dark figure, directing, watching, moralizing on the actions of the other persons'
The Duke 'acts in a way analogous to God'
Lucio is the 'ultimate truth-teller'
'Isabella herself contrives to be unamiable, and Claudio is detestable'
Lucio 'traduces the duke's character wholesale. He does not pause to consider the truth of his words. Again, there is no intent to harm - merely a careless, shallow, truthless wit-philosophy which enjoys its own sex-chatter'
'Shakespeare's art oscillates between extreme psychological subtlety, and an equally extreme disregard of psychological truth, in the acceptance of stock narrative conventions'
'If we don't see ourselves in Angelo, we have taken the play very imperfectly'
Isabella is 'something rancid in her chastity'
'The duke is more absorbed in his own plots of gravity than anxious for the welfare of the state'
'We are left hungry and thirsty for some wholesome single grain of righteousness'
'It is the duke who initiates and controls the experimental demonstration - the controlled experiment - that forms the action. There are hints at the outset that he knows what the results will be; and it turns out that he had deputed his authority in full knowledge of Angelo's behaviour towards Mariana'
'Our sympathies are repulsed and defeated in all directions'
Isabella is the 'feminine counterpart of Angelo' not merely in her professed hatred of sex, but in her underlying 'keen appetite'
The duke is 'a man of tests'
'[Isabella] reacts to Claudio as mercilessly as Angelo had reacted to her'