Measure for Measure (Oxford School Shakespeare Series)

( 8 )

Overview


The Oxford School Shakespeare has become the preferred introduction to the literary legacy of the greatest playwright in the English language. This exclusive collection of the Bard's best works has been designed specifically for readers new to Shakespeare's rich literary legacy. Each play is presented complete and unabridged, in large print. Every book is well illustrated, and starts with a commentary and character summary. Scene synopses and character summaries clarify confusing plots, while incisive essays ...
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Measure for Measure

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Overview


The Oxford School Shakespeare has become the preferred introduction to the literary legacy of the greatest playwright in the English language. This exclusive collection of the Bard's best works has been designed specifically for readers new to Shakespeare's rich literary legacy. Each play is presented complete and unabridged, in large print. Every book is well illustrated, and starts with a commentary and character summary. Scene synopses and character summaries clarify confusing plots, while incisive essays explore the historical context and Shakespeare's sources. Each book ends with a complete list of Shakespeare's plays and a brief chronology of the Bard's life. The detailed explanatory notes are written clearly and positioned right next to the text--no more squinting at microscopic footnotes or flipping pages back and forth in search of endnotes!

The new edition of the series features new covers and new illustrations, including both new drawings and photos from recent productions of Shakespeare's plays around the globe. In addition, the notes and the introductory material have been completely revised in line with new research and in order to make them clearer and more accessible. Finally, the entire text has been redesigned and reset to enhance readability. The new edition achieves the feat of unprecedented clarity of presentation without any cuts to the original text or the detailed explanations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442042377
  • Publisher: Baker & Taylor, CATS
  • Publication date: 7/10/2009
  • Series: Oxford School Shakespeare Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Abbreviations ix
Introduction
I The Text xi
II Date xxxi
III Sources xxxv
IV The Play lv
(1) Form lv
(2) Themes lxiii
1. Justice and Mercy lxiii
2. Grace and Nature lxxii
3. Creation and Death lxxxiii
(3) Conclusions xci
Measure for Measure 1
Appendices
1. Sources 151
(1) Letter of Joseph Macarius to George Pernezith 151
(2) Extract from the Hecatommithi of Giraldi Cinthio 155
(3) Extract from The Historie of Promos and Cassandra 166
(4) Extract from Too Good to be True 193
2. The Song, 'Take, o take those lips away' (IV. i) 201
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2001

    A Base Look at Love, Honor, Morality, Reputation, and the Law

    Measure for Measure is seldom read, and not often performed in the United States. Why? Although many of Shakespeare¿s plays deal bluntly with sexual issues, Measure for Measure does so in an unusually ugly and disgusting way for Shakespeare. This play is probably best suited for adults, as a result. I see Measure for Measure as closest to The Merchant of Venice in its themes. Of the two plays, I prefer Measure for Measure for its unremitting look at the arbitrariness of laws, public hypocrisy and private venality, support for virtue, and encouragement of tempering public justice with common sense and mercy. The play opens with Duke Vincentio turning over his authority to his deputy, Angelo. But while the duke says he is leaving for Poland, he in fact remains in Vienna posing as a friar. Angelo begins meting out justice according to the letter of the law. His first act is to condemn Claudio to death for impregnating Juliet. The two are willing to marry, but Angelo is not interested in finding a solution. In despair, Claudio gets word to his sister, the beautiful Isabella, that he is to be executed and prays that she will beg for mercy. Despite knowing that Isabella is a virgin novice who is about to take her vows, Angelo cruelly offers to release Claudio of Isabella will make herself sexually available to Angelo. The Duke works his influence behind the scenes to help create justice. Although this play is a ¿comedy¿ in Shakespearean terms, the tension throughout is much more like a tragedy. In fact, there are powerful scenes where Shakespeare draws on foolish servants of the law to make his points clear. These serve a similar role of lessening the darkness to that of the gravediggers in Hamlet. One of the things I like best about Measure for Measure is that the resolution is kept hidden better than in most of the comedies. As a result, the heavy and rising tension is only relieved right at the end. The relief you will feel at the end of act five will be very great, if you are like me. After you read this play, I suggest that you compare Isabella and Portia. Why did Shakespeare choose two such strong women to be placed at the center of establishing justice? Could it have anything to do with wanting to establish the rightness of the heart? If you think so, reflect that both Isabella and Portia are tough in demanding that what is right be done. After you finish thinking about those two characters, you may also enjoy comparing King Lear and Claudio. What was their fault? What was their salvation? Why? What point is Shakespeare making? Finally, think about Angelo. Is he the norm or the exception in society? What makes someone act like Angelo does here? What is a person naturally going to do in his situation? Look for fairness in all that you say and do! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2000

    A Great Play

    I believe that MEASURE FOR MEASURE is one of Shakespeare's best plays. And it screams attention. Dealing with the problems of today, it finds itself wrapped up in the same sin and pride that makes this plot line where we are today. It all started when Eve ate that apple. The laws were set, and the laws were broken in this play. There were no limits. And Shakespeare wrote it with beauty and truth. The laws were given to show that we could not keep them. And this story proves it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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