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4.1 out of 5 stars37
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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2010
At A level I didn't really have much use for the extensive notes published throughout and preceding the text, but these have become invaluable at university.

The text itself doesn't really need my recommendation, does it? It's one of Shakespeare's more controversial plays, in the sense that it doesn't sit easily in any of the main groupings. Personally, I found that made it easier to study. It felt like we were already shown the cracks to tease open and really understand the text, which is perhaps harder with some of the more 'well rounded' and well known plays.

You'll feel in safe hands reading these editions, knowing that any ambiguity or discrepancy between editions will be meticulously noted at the bottom of the page. Although daunting at first, these extensive footnotes become welcome and even necessary.
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2010
Whilst I would tend not to review classic literature there was something about this tale of deception and love that compelled me to review it. On seeing there were few reviews on here, I would like to present my opinion that this is one of Shakespeare's lesser known but still entertaining and though-provoking works. Still culturally relevant, I read this to prepare for a performance that I thoroughly enjoyed, mainly due to this text. At this price, I would put it down as something that everyone must read.
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on 12 December 2010
My first experience of Shakespeare's problem play about sex and legalism was as a set exam text I had to teach this year. This edition of the play text is ideal for both GCSE and A-Level, and would also be appropriate for younger Secondary school students should it be on the curriculum. Unlike the Cambridge New Shakespeare version, the supporting text and layout are extremely accessible, although unlike that edition it is slightly lightweight in terms of academic detail.
Overall I would definitely recommend this for both students and teachers of the play, and for those simply interested in understanding the play better it would also be well suited.
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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!
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on 8 September 2011
This play is presented in Kindle format exactly as it appears on the printed page. The notes are included after whichever line they appear under in the printed text: since the Kindle pages are not the same length, they frequently appear in the middle of the page on Kindle.
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on 11 January 2012
Although "Measure for Measure" is not one of Shakespeare's best known plays, I consider it one of his finest. This 1960 production does it full justice and, in my opinion it outshines every stage production I have seen. This is mainly because of a distinguished cast of fine actors who are as much at home with Shakespeare's language as they are with inhabiting the roles they play. John Gielgud's mastery in these plays tends to be taken for granted, but the tormented Angelo, who is driven to subvert every value he had previously held dear, is among his finest interpretations. Ralph Richardson also excels as the enigmatic, manipulating Duke,while Margaret Leighton is a vibrant, passionate Isabella, in a role that often strains credibility. Alec McCowen's malicious Lucio and Ronnie Barker's Elbow, preparing the ground for Sheridan's Mrs Malaprop, are also worthy of mention. More importantly, all contibute to a whole, which is much more than its constituent parts in a difficult, but rewarding play.
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on 4 February 2013
I would call Measure for Measure the perfect introduction to Shakespeare's women. The concepts of virginity, pregnancy, adultery, loyalty, and fraternity are all explored within this wonderful play. In particular the character of Isabella faces turmoil as she must chose between her secred vow of chastity and selling her body in exchange for the life of her brother: a man who is condemned to death for impregnating a woman outside of marriage. Can Isabella swap sexual chastity in order to save her brother from a sin that she abhors? This is a fascinating exploration of the themes of female sexuality, and would be of particular interest to those who are researching the theme of the female body on the Rennaissance stage.
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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!
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on 21 January 2010
'Measure For Measure' is one of Shakespeare's most thought-provoking plays, and here we are given a solid, well-executed performance. The actors all have presence, except for Roger Allam, who handles the Duke in a morbid, 'serious' way (when the role demands a more potent and aristocratic demeanor), although Allam does attain a certain gravitas towards the end. 'Measure For Measure' is full of resonant insights into justice, sex and power, all of them rendered highly accessible by this Arkangel production. In short, a recommended recording.
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on 12 June 2001
This dark comedy of Angelo's corrupt regency of Vienna is one of Shakespeare's most unloved plays. It is generally regarded as being an unfunny comedy that is difficult to stage. However, this Arden edition is both pleasant and has informative explanitory notes that enable the reader to grasp the tricky elements of the play and so enjoy its hidden depths.
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