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Running head: MEASURE FOR MEASURE – HISTORY PLAY GENRE 1 Measure for Measure – History Play Genre
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MEASURE FOR MEASURE – HISTORY PLAY GENRE 2 William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure play has evaded definite classification into any of the four main genres. Close inspection nevertheless shows that this play belongs to the history play genre. Scholars hold that histories plays comprise the following characteristics: have propaganda agendas, are set within England, examine specific issues facing a king, underline that a united nation is stronger, feature a heroic character who stumbles, and have a positive ending. This essay shows that Measure for Measure belongs to the history play genre because it entails the following attributes: it has a propaganda purpose, it is set within Europe, it examines specific issues facing a ruler, it underlines that a united nation is stronger, it features a heroic character who stumbles, and it has a positive ending. I am confident that Measure for Measure qualifies to be categorized as a history play because it has a propaganda purpose; it shows that religious leaders are more effective than political leaders. To this end, Duke Vincentino seeks to execute Angelo for fornication (Shakespeare, n.d., Act 5). Nevertheless, a nun named Isabella negotiates with Vincentino and
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