Some men of Vienna are discussing local politics when a prostitute approaches them and tells them that a man named Claudio has been arrested because he got a woman pregnant. He is supposed to be beheaded in three days. The men are shocked, and exit. The prostitute then talks to another man, Pompey, and he tells her that all of the whorehouses in the suburbs are going to be shut down by royal proclamation. The woman, referred to as Bawd, is worried about the future of her business but the man reassured her by saying he will still come to her. Claudio and Juliet enter with the Provost, and the Provost tells him that he is being arrested because of Lord Angelo's decree. One of the men discussing politics, Lucio, enters again approaching Claudio who is his friend. He asks why the man has been arrested, and Claudio tells him. Though a law against fornication has been there for sometime, it had not been enforced for many years. Claudio says that it is probably being enforced now because Angelo wants to make a name for himself. Claudio then implores him to fetch his sister who is entering a convent and have her go to Angelo to argue her brother's case. Lucio agrees and they exit.