An analysis of “Measure for Measure.”
Titles are a crucial part to any story. Shakespeare especially had an understanding of the importance of titles for certain texts. Some of Shakespeare’s titles that do not simply name the protagonist are “Measure for Measure,” “The Tempest,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and the “Twelfth Night.” Something to examine when reading Shakespeare is the title. If the title is not simply something like “Hamlet,” or “Romeo and Juliet,” then there is a method to his madness. Titles bear much importance in the content of a story. First, the title sets the mood of the story. To focus primarily on “Measure for Measure,” the title sets the tone that there is something to be measured to determine the importance of certain characters and the things they do. When examining a written story, primarily Shakespeare stories, it is important to look into the text and content of the story and derive the meaning of the story as a whole. Often times, authors wait until after they’ve finished the text to give it a title. So, before a reader over examines the title of a text, it is important to swallow the text itself. Francis Bacon suggested this type of reading in his essay “Of Studies,” in which he expressed how important it is to not only easily read texts, but to swallow them. Once you’ve swallowed a text, you fully understand the plot of the story, what the author was trying to tell their audience. And, proceeding the task of swallowing a text is to understand the importance of the title. This takes the intellectual capacity of the reader one step further. So, in “Measure for Measure,” what is the importance of the title? Why did Shakespeare call this famous work of his, “Measure for M...
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...ely did so in the fact that we have this as a writing prompt at all. “Measure for Measure,” is a direct example of a story that was named after the writing of it, only then had Shakespeare realized the masterpiece he had put together in reinforcing the words of Jesus on the mount. He who judges harshly will receive harsh judgement in the end, as Shakespeare wants us to assume about Angelo. The duke is another character that is measured, and he is quite contradictory, often how measuring can be. Shakespeare also was aware of and understood this. Overall, the importance of this title is found in the fact that Shakespearean scholars understand this story to be in many different types of literature, and also because the story itself is a measuring tool, and last because he wanted to directly address Jesus’ sermon on the mount, as identified in the first gospel, Matthew.
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