Preview
Preview

Unity of Opposites in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Essay

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 2051 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Unity of Opposites in Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure is an English play written by the famous playwright William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptized) – 23 April 1616) in around 1603. The first publication of the play is originally in the First Folio of 1623 (where it was for the first time categorized as a comedy), while the play's first recorded performance was in the year 1604. Measure for Measure deals with many religious, political and humanistic issues, such as mercy, justice, and truth and their relationship to pride and humility, as it is said, "Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall". Although the play has always been categorized as a comedy, there is a mood in it that to some degree unfits the classification. According to Brian Gibbons in his introduction to the New Cambridge Shakespeare Measure for Measure, ‘Many critics [of Measure for Measure] have been troubled by the impression of a disorder, and a latent anarchy, more rooted, defiant, and aggressive than might be thought compatible with ‘festive’ (that is, ultimately reconciliatory) comedy’ (Brian Gibbons, introduction to the New Cambridge Shakespeare Measure for Measure, updated edition [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006], p.23). As a result, some critics have labeled Measure for Measure as one of Shakespeare's problem plays.
This paper focuses on where and how in the play the disorder mentioned above is presented in Measure for Measure as well as the meaning attached to it. On the one hand, the order in the play is represented by the law and Christian rules at the time. On the other hand, there is disorder represented by many pairs of conflicts of which the irresolution, to a large degree, makes Measu...


... middle of paper ...


...f those festive comedies. And that is an effective way to bring to people’s awareness of topics appearing in the play with deeper meaning, such as justice, humanity, power and law, etc. Furthermore, though the problems raised and discussed by the play have a specific social context, the topics mentioned above, however, are long-living, which must be one of the reasons why Shakespeare’s plays are the top among all the classical and remain popular throughout centuries. And the problem plays of his, such as Measure for Measure, not only amuse us by the humor in them, but also they trigger us to think by their depth as well as wisdom. (2379 words)
References
1. Brian Gibbons, introduction to the New Cambridge Shakespeare Measure for Measure, updated edition [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006], p.23
2. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, 2. 2. 145-6.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Essay - William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure The desires of the characters in Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure are not entirely clear, and are made ambivalent and ambiguous by the use of their language. Particularly in 3.1.52-153, when Isabella visits Claudio in prison, ambiguous lines and puns make it unclear whether Isabella desires Claudio’s death and whether he truly desires to be free of sin. These desires were further convoluted by viewing the current Folger Theatre production of the play....   [tags: Shakespeare measure for Essays] 1216 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Open Silences in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Essay - How Productions from 1720 to 1929 Close Shakespeare's Open Silences in Measure for Measure Prologue: Playtext. Performance. and Open Silences In the Preface to his edition of Shakespeare's plays, and even as he vigorously defended the playwright against attacks by other neo-classical critics, Samuel Johnson nonetheless also offered his own survey of Shakespeare's weaknesses. Among the more well-known and provocative remarks is his assessment of the endings of the plays: It may be observed, that in many of his plays the latter part is evidently neglected....   [tags: Shakespeare Measure for Measure]
:: 20 Works Cited
6617 words
(18.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Essays - Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Game-playing in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Thieves for their robbery have authority When judges steal themselves Critics have often seen Vincentio, the Duke in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure, as performing a function similar to that of Prospero in The Tempest. The reasons for such an assumption is clear in the very first scene of the play, as both characters set the plot into motion by exercising their power, withdraw to observe events from behind the scenes, then return to restore order at the end....   [tags: Shakespeare Measure Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
2062 words
(5.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Politics, Power, and Purpose in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Essay - Politics, Power, and Purpose in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure In Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Vincentio, Duke of Vienna, observing that his Dukedom has fallen into licentiousness and chaos through his neglectful government, has pretended to leave Vienna and has turned over the government to Angelo, his upright and up-tight Deputy; and that the Duke has resolved to remain in Vienna, in disguise, so that he may observe how Angelo's character is revealed or transformed in the crucible of the power with which he has been invested....   [tags: Shakespeare Measure for Measure] 6633 words
(19 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Disguise in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night Essays - Disguise in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night        Disguise is a device Shakespeare employs frequently in both Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night. It allows a disguised character like the Duke of Vienna to glean information that would otherwise go unknown, and a character like Viola to take advantage of potentially beneficial situations. It gives these characters access to worlds that might otherwise be denied; for the Duke, he can now "haunt assemblies / Where youth and cost a witless bravery keeps" (1.4.9-10)....   [tags: Measure Twelfth Night Essays Shakespeare]
:: 3 Works Cited
1221 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Morality in Measure for Measure by Shakespeare Essay - Morality in Measure for Measure          Shakespeare's play, Measure for Measure, focuses on human morality. The play also explores the question of what kind of sexual conduct is socially acceptable, and what is not. The play depicts various attitudes toward prostitution, promiscuity, and premarital sex. But it also suggests that human laws and perhaps human morality are quite arbitrary and relative.   Measure for Measure considers the need for statutes and laws to govern sexual appetites and ensure domestic tranquility....   [tags: Measure for Measure]
:: 8 Works Cited
2108 words
(6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Matrimony and Recompense in Measure for Measure - Matrimony and Recompense in Measure for Measure (A version of this essay appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly 46 (Winter, 1995), 454-464.) Since 1970, when the Isabella of John Barton's RSC production of Measure for Measure first shocked audiences by silently refusing to acquiesce to the Duke's offer of marriage at the end of the play, Isabella's response (or lack thereof) to the Duke's proposal has become one of the most prevalent subjects for Shakespearean performance criticism.See, for example, Jane Williamson, "The Duke and Isabella on the Modern Stage," The Triple Bond: Plays, Mainly Shakespearean, in Performance, ed....   [tags: Shakespeare Measure Essays] 7072 words
(20.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Essay - Shakespeare's Measure for Measure This reading of Measure for Measure will try to do more than draw attention to the extent to which Shakespeare goes beyond the conventional happy ending in this play. There are indications that the conclusions of many of the comedies are not really meant to bear up to close scrutiny; in Jaques¹ words, their loving voyages are not victual¹d for very long. In Measure for Measure we are openly challenged to question the adequacy of attaching a happy ending to a deeply troubling play....   [tags: Shakespeare Desire Plays Papers] 4131 words
(11.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Themes of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure Revealed in Angelo’s Soliloquies - Themes of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure Revealed in Angelo’s Soliloquies Angelo’s soliloquies (2.2.161-186; 2.4.1-30) express themes of the tragicomic form, grace and nature, development of self-knowledge, justice and mercy, and creation and death as aspects of Angelo’s character. By the theme of the tragicomic form I mean that which “qualified extremes and promoted a balanced condition of mind […] It employed a ‘mixed’ style, ‘mixed’ action, and ‘mixed’ characters—‘passing from side to side, it works amongst contraries, sweetly tempering their composition’.” (Guarini’s Compendio della Poesia Tragicomica (1601) cited in Lever lxi-lxii)....   [tags: Measure for Measure]
:: 2 Works Cited
821 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Character Elbow in Shakespeare's Play, Measure for Measure Essay - The Character Elbow in Shakespeare's Play, Measure for Measure In Act 2, scene 1 of the play Measure for Measure the character Elbow, a representation of the "Comedic Constable" often depicted in William Shakespeare's comedies and traji-comedies, gives the director an unusual creative license in portraying this figure to give the audience a rich theatrical experience. (Evans 427) These characters are most commonly depicted as "artless, inadequate, naïve, and prosaic men who bumble through their official duties, sublimely unaware of their blunders, intent upon fulfilling their offices even when they are not really sure just what those offices are." (Evans 427) They are honest men as well...   [tags: Measure for Measure Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1502 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]