Measure for Measure - Shakespeare Measure for Measure[Measure for Measure is ostensibly a comedy yet charged with a weight of moral and social

Measure for Measure - Shakespeare Measure for...

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Shakespeare: Measure for Measure [Measure for Measure is] ostensibly a comedy, yet charged with a weight of moral and social preoccupations, of explicit political theorizing and psychological probing, beyond the limits of what the comic form could easily support.” Questions : 1.Who is in charge of the city and why? 2.Why is Claudio arrested and sentenced to death? 3. Why is the Duke in disguise (think about this both in terms of plot and also in relation to equity and justice). 4.What does the Duke wish to observe about Antonio? 5.What is the relationship between law, justice, liberty and equity? 6.Are the actions/judgments of Antonio right or wrong? 7.What is the position of Isabella? 8.How does Shakespeare reconcile this “comedy”—is it a successful resolution? ContextLikely the most influential writer in all of English literature and certainly the most important playwright of the English Renaissance, William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. The son of a successful middle-class glove-maker, Shakespeare attended grammar school, but his formal education proceeded no further. In 1582, he married an older woman, Anne Hathaway, and had three children with her. Around 1590 he left his family behind and traveled to London to work as an actor and playwright. Public and critical success quickly followed, and Shakespeare eventually became the most popular playwright in England and part owner of the Globe Theater. His career bridged the reigns of Elizabeth I (ruled 1558-1603) and James I (ruled 1603-1625); he was a favorite of both monarchs. Indeed, James granted Shakespeare's company the greatest possiblecompliment by endowing them with the status of king's players. Wealthy and renowned, Shakespeare retired to Stratford, and died in 1616 at the age of fifty-two. At the time of Shakespeare's death, such luminaries as Ben Jonson hailed him as the apogee of Renaissance theatre.Shakespeare's works were collected and printed in various editions in the century following his death, and by the early eighteenth century his reputation as the greatest poet ever to write in English was well established. The unprecedented admiration garnered by his works led to a fierce curiosity about Shakespeare's life; but the paucity of surviving biographical information has left many details of Shakespeare's personal history shrouded in mystery. Some people have concluded from this fact that Shakespeare's plays in reality were written by someone else--Francis Bacon and the Earl of Oxford are the two most popular candidates--but the evidence for this claim is overwhelmingly circumstantial, and the theory is not taken seriously by many scholars.

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