Measure for Measure - William Shakespeare

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Measure for Measure - William Shakespeare

Play - ISBN: 0198320108

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91% positive

8 reviews from the community

Review of "Measure for Measure - William Shakespeare"

published 29/03/2001 | licon
Member since : 30/11/-0001
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Excellent
Pro The plot is very interesting...
Cons There are so many levels it would be easy to completely lose the plot
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How does it compare to similar works?

"Stunning"

This play really astounded me. Even with a not-brilliant English teacher, when I studied this at A-level it blew me away. There are so many levels, and best of all - no character is completely good or completely bad. There are motivations for everything, strange reactions, and lots to discuss.

We could have spent the entire 2 years on this book, and still not even agreed what happens at the end!

Although it's one of Shakespeare's lesser-known plays, I would really recommend this to anyone wanting to get deeper into his writings. It's full of life, humour and reality.


(As people don't seem to have seen my update on the comment, I'm posting it here as well.)

SHORT PLOT SUMMARY:

A girl is about to become a nun. At the same time, the Duke in charge of the city intends to go away to test his second-in-command. In reality, he stays and watches to see what happens. The first thing that happens is the introduction of strict purity laws, which result in the girl's brother being sentenced to death for his presence in a brothel. The Duke's second (now apparently a bad guy) says to the girl that if she sleeps with him, he will let her brother go, thus introducing the first hypocritical element.

From here onwards, farce, humour, switching places and an end resolution are all part of the plot. Traditional, you might say, but no. All the traditional elements are there, but in a new format.

The ending is a complete surprise. If you see it as a play, it will help you to see different possibilities for the end. I don't want to spoil it for you!

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Comments on this review

  • VerySpecialOne published 11/03/2003
    I have also read Measure for Measure as part of my English Lit A level. I completely agree with you about it being an intriguing and brilliant play. But i have rated this opinion as UNHELPFUL, im sorry but this is because I have read the play and understand what you mean, but to anyone who has no knowledge of this play, this is completely unhelpful. I will be glad to re-rate it if you include some detail on characters or context. Obviously, because this a complicated play, it will be hard to explain, but some brief detail will help. Sorry.
  • licon published 29/03/2001
    I perhaps should have said something about the plot. So I will summarise it. Basically, a girl is about to become a nun. At the same time, the Duke in charge of the city goes away to test his second-in-command. In reality, he stays and watches to see what happens. The first thing that happens is the introduction of strict purity laws, which result in the girl's brother being sentenced to death for being in a brothel. The bad guy, the one under the Duke, says to the girl that if she sleeps with him, he will let her brother go, thus introducing the first hypocritical element. From here onwards, farce, humour, switching places and an end resolution are all part of the plot. Traditional, you might say, but no. All the traditional elements are there, but in a new format. The ending is a complete surprise. If you see it as a play, it will help you to see different possibilities for the end. I don't want to spoil it for you!
  • weebagpuss published 29/03/2001
    I studied this play at A level too. Have you ever seen it performed anywhere - I never have! Because it is not that well known, it doesn't get the performances it deserves. Would be nice to see it at the RSC sometime... I agree it is a great play and does work on different levels. Claire
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Product Information : Measure for Measure - William Shakespeare

Manufacturer's product description

Play - ISBN: 0198320108

Product Details

Type: Play

Title: Measure for Measure

Author: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 0198320108

EAN: 9780198320104

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Listed on Ciao since: 05/01/2001