Measure for Measure

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Aug 23, 2011 - Drama - 336 pages
Measure for Measure is among the most passionately discussed of Shakespeare's plays. In it, a duke temporarily removes himself from governing his city-state, deputizing a member of his administration, Angelo, to enforce the laws more rigorously. Angelo chooses as his first victim Claudio, condemning him to death because he impregnated Juliet before their marriage.

Claudio's sister Isabella, who is entering a convent, pleads for her brother's life. Angelo attempts to extort sex from her, but Isabella preserves her chastity. The duke, in disguise, eavesdrops as she tells her brother about Angelo's behavior, then offers to ally himself with her against Angelo.

Modern responses to the play show how it can be transformed by its reception in present culture to evoke continuing fascination. To some, the duke (the government) seems meddlesome; to others, he is properly imposing moral standards. Angelo and Isabella's encounter exemplifies sexual harassment. Others see a woman's right to control her body in Isabella's choice between her virginity and her brother's life.

The authoritative edition of Measure for Measure from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, is now available as an eBook. Features include:

The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference
Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation
Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
Scene-by-scene plot summaries
A key to famous lines and phrases
An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
 

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Contents

Editors Preface
ix
Measure for Measure
xiii
Measure for Measure
xv
Shakespeares Life
xxvii
Shakespeares Theater
xxxviii
The Publication of Shakespeares Plays
xlvii
An Introduction to This Text
li
Text of the Play with Commentary
1
ACT 3 Scene 1
93
ACT 3 Scene 2
111
ACT 4 Scene 2
137
ACT 4 Scene 3
151
ACT 4 Scene 4
165
ACT 4 Scene 5
167
ACT 4 Scene 6
169
ACT 5 Scene 1
173

ACT 1 Scene 1
7
ACT 1 Scene 2
13
ACT 1 Scene 3
25
ACT 1 Scene 4
29
ACT 2 Scene 1
39
ACT 2 Scene 2
57
ACT 2 Scene 3
73
ACT 2 Scene 4
77
Longer Notes
213
Historical Background
225
Textual Notes
239
A Modern Perspective
245
Further Reading
259
Key to Famous Lines and Phrases
279
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

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