On Measure for Measure: An Essay in Criticism of Shakespeare's Drama

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University of Delaware Press, 1997 - Drama - 182 pages
"That Measure for Measure, a work of the dramatist's maturity, remains the focus of unresolved controversy calls into question the adequacy of Shakespeare criticism to be answerable to "what he hath left us." This book illustrates a way to conduct eclectic and historical criticism capable of manifesting this problematic play's coherence. It closely studies as drama, according to the conventions demonstrably presupposed, the play indicated by the text when construed as Shakespeare's extant provisions for its performance." "Analysis shows that Measure for Measure's principal interest cannot be character as such, but rather the searching play of thought, about a rich nexus of issues radical to our humanity, projected through the staged action it informs. To apprehend it, attention to structure, dramaturgy, and methods of representation is as essential as studying how Shakespeare uses ideas received from his co-creating culture." "Through this study, Measure for Measure emerges as a great play; uniquely daring in conception, scope, and comic purgation; humanely wise and balanced in outlook; brilliant in dramaturgical wit; exhilaratingly entertaining; and perhaps Shakespeare's most sophisticated work, though its coherence has often previously been clouded by misconstrual."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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