Works Cited Not Included
Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare's unclassifiable plays. It
was written in 1603 and is one of his most enigmatic and unfathomable
works. It is normally referred to as a problem play and, up until the
20th century it was seen as one of Shakespeare's worst works, due to
the fact that many were uncertain as to the character's motives.
However within the last century, it has undergone a revival and many
believe it to be one of his greatest works. The play contains a
wonderful mix of serious and intense drama interspersed perfectly with
moments of flippancy. To give an example, in one of the most serious
scenes in which Isabella is pleading for her brother's life, Lucio is
standing in the background, throwing her encouraging remarks.
II.2 line 130 "thou'rt i'th'right girl, more o'that"
It is this mix that so marks the play out from pure comedies such as
Midsummer Night's Dream in which there is hardly a sombre word, and
Hamlet, in which humour scarcely plays.
The climax of the play is in the last act in which the balance of
levity and gravity is carefully maintained. The last act solves many
of the dilemmas brought up in the course of the play, however it does
also create some quandaries to which the solutions are left to our
imaginations. There is much exuberant drama in the last act of Measure
for Measure. Notably, there are three moments of revelation in which
all the characters are amazed. These are; when Marianna is unveiled,
... middle of paper ...
their climax and are resolved. Although it does leave a couple of
major, and one minor problem unresolved, they do not detract from its
sufficiency. Far from detracting from its adequacy, I feel that these
unresolved difficulties increase its merits as an ending to the play.
They leave something for the audience to think about and ensures that
the ending is not too simplistic. Shakespeare does not treat us like
children and spell out every last detail. To my mind, leaving some
aspects of the conclusion to the audience's own judgement makes this
play more sophisticated and far less shallow than some of his
comedies. This play ends on a positive note with two couples more or
less successfully matched and order restored to Vienna, whilst it
leaves the theatre goer to mull over the final fate of Isabella and
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Irish home rule is one of the most important bills in Ireland’s history. Though continually rejected, Irish home rule remained in the hearts of the people and eventually gave Ireland self-government from Britain. The Irish people were determined to have home rule enacted and, in time, the bill was passed, but not without a few bumps in the road to getting the document approved. Home Rule can be defined as, “self-government in local matters by a city, province, state, or colony that is part of a national government.” “From the early 1870s to the end of the Great War – Home Rule was both the single most important feature of the Irish political life and a major influence within British politic... [tags: Irish History]
1310 words (3.7 pages)
- The Device of a Masked Dance in Act Two Scene One of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare uses the device of a masked dance in Act II Scene I for many reasons, mainly for the entertainment value of an Elizabethan audience these were the people Shakespeare intended the play to be viewed by, and also to dramatically further the plot. Using a masked dance allows for many characters to be in the same place at the same time, allowing all of the different social classes to mix and interact, something which would not normally have happened in Elizabethan times.... [tags: Papers]
1410 words (4 pages)
- Exploring Morality in Measure for Measure In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare is able to examine the concept of right and wrong through the characters of Mistress Overdone and Mariana. Throughout the play, by using characters that most people would find morally reprehensible, Shakespeare is able to give the audience a different view of these people and, hopefully, show his audience that people aren't always what they appear to be. Through the character of Mistress Overdone, Shakespeare is able to bring a jovial side to the oldest job known to man -- prostitution.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
739 words (2.1 pages)
- 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)
- The Character of Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello " But it was no sign of stupidity in Othello. For his opinion of Iago was the opinion of practically everyone who knew him: and that opinion was that Iago was before all things "honest"." A C Bradley Iago's perceived honesty is his great and enabling ability, which allows him to manipulate and cause events without the other characters realizing. I agree to some extent with Bradley on this point, and there is sufficent evidence to point this out.... [tags: Papers]
841 words (2.4 pages)
- Mercy vs. Justice in Measure for Measure Theme: Mercy vs. Justice. Allusion to justice = eye for eye, tooth for tooth [measure for measure]; allusion to mercy = let him without sin cast the first stone [esp. sexual sin]. Summary: Duke wants to restore the strictness of fornication/adultery laws. He sets up Angelo to do it, while he feigns that he will be away. Instead he remains to check up on Angelo and the town (Vienna). Angelo goes ahead and closes down Overdone's brothel and the others, and puts Claudio in jail, condemned to die the morrow, for impregnating Juliet.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
969 words (2.8 pages)
- 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]
6617 words (18.9 pages)
- 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)
- Abstinence and Orgy in Measure for Measure Many existing views of Measure for Measure seem intriguing but incomplete. They might reinforce our perception of this play as fragmented and baffling, because they do not integrate apparently conflicting outlooks presented in the play’s Vienna, and generated by the mysterious action of Vincentio. Notice how the following different interpretations display the conflicts: the extreme view proposed by Roy Battenhouse that the Duke stands for God (Rossiter 108-28); the modified position of Elizabeth Marie Pope that the Duke is a successful magistrate with divinely-delegated powers ("Renaissance" 66-82), almost in line with Eliade’s version of... [tags: Measure for Measure]
2585 words (7.4 pages)
- Angelo in Measure for Measure Within Measure for Measure, the character of Angelo can be seen as a case study of will over moral nature. Angelo, a deputy, is given the Dukes authority to act in his behalf while the Duke is away. The story unfolds as Angelo uses the agency he's been given in ways that many men in authoritative positions have done. It is interesting to follow his line of thought and to realize that this is a man who is not unlike many others. The main conflict between Isabella and Angelo is a contemporary problem.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1019 words (2.9 pages)