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Main page » Fiction literature » Graded Readers » Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure


William Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure" (The New Cambridge Shakespeare, Updated Edition)
Since the rediscovery of Elizabethan stage conditions early in the twentieth century, admiration for Measure for Measure has steadily risen. It is now a favourite with the critics and has attracted widely different styles of performance. At one extreme, the play is seen as a religious allegory; at the other, it has been interpreted as a comedy protesting against power and privilege.

Brian Gibbons focuses on the unique tragi-comic experience of watching the play, the intensity and excitement offered by its dramatic rhythm, the reversals and surprises which shock the audience even to the end. His introduction considers how the play's critical reception and stage history have varied according to prevailing social, moral and religious issues, which were highly sensitive when Measure for Measure was written, and have remained so to the present day.

This updated edition contains a new introductory section by Angela Stock, which describes recent stage, film and critical interpretations, and an updated reading list.

About The New Cambridge Shakespeare Series
The New Cambridge Shakespeare is an edition of Shakespeare's works, consisting of a separate volume for each play, and a volume each for the Sonnets and the narrative poems. The texts have been prepared by an international team of the very best scholars, who provide in each case a freshly-considered and modernised text, a substantial introduction and commentary at the foot of the page. The series pays particular attention to the play in performance, commenting on the stage action and offering a performance history with illustrations. It is aimed at students of Shakespeare from A level or its equivalent, and onwards, including undergraduates, graduates and teachers.

An international team of scholars offers:
  • modernized, easily accessible texts
  • ample commentary and introductions
  • attention to the theatrical qualities of each play and its stage history
  • informative illustrations

List of Illustrations
Abbreviations and Conventions

 Puritanism, political allusion and censorship
 The sources and their shaping
  The Phoenix
  The Malcontent
  The Mode of Tragi-Comedy
  Contemporary Allusions
 The play
  Underworld and Sub-Plots
  Carnival and Justice: Word-Play and Self-Defence
  Angelo and Isabella: Word-Play and Self-Betrayal
  The Question of the Duke
  Playing with Audiences
  The Question of Tragi-Comedy
 The play on the stage
 Recent stage, film and critical interpretations, by Angela Stock
  Recent Stage and Film Productions

Note on the text
List of characters

Measure for Measure

Textual analysis
 The nature of the copy
  The Compositors and Casting-Off of Copy
  The Scribe
  Juliet in 1.2
  Possible Toning-Down of Oaths
  The Justice in 2.1
  The Duke's Speech in 4.1
  4.3 And 4.5: Lucio and Varrius
  The Time Scheme
 Summary: the nature of the copy
  Verse and Prose
  Short Lines
 Textual cruces and editors
Reading list

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Tags: Measure, Cambridge, extreme, religious, performance, different