Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure

Overview
Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. It was (and continues to be) classified as comedy, but its mood defies those expectations. As a result and for a variety of reasons, some critics have labelled it as one of Shakespeare's problem plays
Problem plays (Shakespeare)
In Shakespeare studies, the term problem plays normally refers to three plays that William Shakespeare wrote between the late 1590s and the first years of the seventeenth century: All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida, although some critics would extend the term to...

. Originally published in the First Folio
First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars commonly refer to it as the First Folio....

of 1623 (where it was first labelled as a comedy), the play's first recorded performance was in 1604.
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Quotations

He was ever precise in promise-keeping.

Lucio, scene ii

I have on Angelo impos'd the office;Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home.

Duke Vincentio, scene iii

I hold you as a thing ensky’d and sainted.

Lucio, scene iv

A man whose bloodIs very snow-broth; one who never feelsThe wanton stings and motions of the sense.

Lucio, scene iv

He arrests him on it;And follows close the rigour of the statute,To make him an example.

Lucio, scene iv

Our doubts are traitors,And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt.

Lucio, scene iv

'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,Another thing to fall. I do not deny,The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life,May in the sworn twelve have a thief or twoGuiltier than him they try.

Angelo, scene i

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

Escalus, scene i
Encyclopedia
Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. It was (and continues to be) classified as comedy, but its mood defies those expectations. As a result and for a variety of reasons, some critics have labelled it as one of Shakespeare's problem plays
Problem plays (Shakespeare)
In Shakespeare studies, the term problem plays normally refers to three plays that William Shakespeare wrote between the late 1590s and the first years of the seventeenth century: All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida, although some critics would extend the term to...

. Originally published in the First Folio
First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars commonly refer to it as the First Folio....

of 1623 (where it was first labelled as a comedy), the play's first recorded performance was in 1604. The play deals with the issues of mercy, justice, and truth and their relationship to pride and humility: "Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall".

Characters



  • The Duke, Vincentio, also appears disguised as Friar Lodowick.

  • Isabella, a novice nun.

  • Claudio, Isabella's brother.

  • Angelo, rules in the Duke's absence.

  • Escalus, a lord.

  • Lucio, a debauched lord.

  • Mariana, Angelo's former fiance.

  • Mistress Overdone, a prostitute who runs a brothel.

  • Friar Thomas, a friar.

  • Pompey, a bawd and "tapster" (pimp/bartender) who works for Mistress Overdone.

  • The Provost, runs the prison, and is responsible for carrying out all of Angelo's orders.

  • Elbow, a simple constable.

  • Froth, a gentleman of fourscore pound a year.

  • Barnardine, a prisoner.

  • Juliet, Claudio's lover/unofficial bride, pregnant with his child.

  • Justice, a friend of Escalus.

  • Varrius, a friend of The Duke.

  • Francisca, a nun.

  • Abhorson, an executioner.

  • Friar Peter, another friar.

  • Two gentlemen

Synopsis



Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, makes it known that he intends to leave the city on a diplomatic mission. He leaves the government in the hands of a strict judge, Angelo.

Claudio, a young nobleman, is betrothed/unofficially married to Juliet. At the time, marriages were supposed to be announced by banns
Banns of marriage
The banns of marriage, commonly known simply as the "banns" or "bans" are the public announcement in a Christian parish church of an impending marriage between two specified persons...

 in advance. Due to lack of money, Claudio and Juliet did not observe all the technicalities. This did not make them unique however; at the time most people (including the Church) would have considered them married. Technically, however, all the formalities for a civil marriage had not been followed and so a strict judge might rule that they were not legally married. Angelo, as the personification of the law, decides to enforce the ruling that fornication is punishable by death, and since he does not accept the validity of the marriage, Claudio is sentenced to be executed. Claudio's friend Lucio visits Claudio's sister Isabella, a novice nun, and asks her to intercede with Angelo on Claudio's behalf.

Isabella obtains an audience with Angelo, and pleads for mercy for Claudio. Over the course of two scenes between Angelo and Isabella, it becomes clear that he harbours lustful thoughts about her, and he eventually offers her a deal: Angelo will spare Claudio's life if Isabella will yield him her virginity. Isabella refuses, but she also realises that (due to Angelo's austere reputation) she will not be believed if she makes a public accusation against him. Instead she visits her brother in prison and counsels him to prepare himself for death. Claudio vehemently begs Isabella to save his life, but Isabella refuses. As a novice nun, she feels that she cannot sacrifice her own immortal soul (and that of Claudio's, if he causes her to lose her virtue) to save Claudio's transient earthly life.

The Duke has not in fact left the city, but remains there disguised as a friar in order to spy on the city's affairs, and especially on the actions of Angelo. In his guise as a friar he befriends Isabella and arranges two tricks to thwart Angelo's evil intentions:

  1. First, a "bed trick
    Bed trick
    The bed trick is a plot device in traditional literature and folklore; it involves a substitution of one partner in the sex act with a third person...

    " is arranged. Angelo has previously refused to fulfill the betrothal binding him to Mariana, because her dowry had been lost at sea. Isabella sends word to Angelo that she has decided to submit to him, making it a condition of their meeting that it occurs in perfect darkness and in silence. Mariana agrees to take Isabella's place, and she has sex with Angelo, although he continues to believe he has enjoyed Isabella. (In some interpretations of the law, this constitutes consummation of their betrothal, and therefore their marriage. This is the same interpretation that assumes that Claudio and Juliet are legally married.)
  2. After having sex with Mariana (who he thinks is Isabella), Angelo goes back on his word, sending a message to the prison that he wishes to see Claudio's head, and necessitating the "head trick." The Duke first attempts to arrange the execution of another prisoner whose head can be sent instead of Claudio's. However, the villain Barnardine refuses to be executed in his drunken state. As luck would have it, a pirate named Ragozine, of similar appearance to Claudio, has recently died of a fever, so his head is sent to Angelo instead.


This main plot concludes with the 'return' to Vienna of the Duke as himself. Isabella and Mariana publicly petition him, and he hears their claims against Angelo
Angelo (Shakespeare)
Angelo is a character in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure.-Role in the play:Angelo is the deputy to Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna, who begins the play by departing the city under mysterious circumstances and leaves the straight-laced Angelo in power...

, which Angelo smoothly denies. As the scene develops, it appears that Friar Lodowick will be blamed for the 'false' accusations levelled against Angelo. The Duke leaves Angelo to judge the cause against Lodowick, but returns in disguise moments later when Lodowick is summoned. Eventually the friar reveals himself to be the Duke, thereby exposing Angelo as a liar and Isabella and Mariana as truthful. He proposes that Angelo be executed but first compels him to marry Mariana— with his estate going to Mariana as her new dowry, "to buy you a better husband". Mariana pleads for Angelo's life, even enlisting the aid of Isabella (who is not yet aware her brother Claudio is still living). The Duke pretends not to heed the women's petition, and only after revealing that Claudio has not, in fact, been executed, relents. The Duke then proposes marriage to Isabella. Isabella does not reply, and her reaction is interpreted differently in different productions: her silent acceptance of his proposal is the most common in performance. This is one of the "open silences" of the play.

A sub-plot concerns Claudio's friend Lucio, who frequently slanders the duke to the friar, and in the last act slanders the friar to the duke, providing opportunities for comic consternation on Vincentio's part and landing Lucio in trouble when it is revealed that the duke and the friar are one and the same. His punishment, like Angelo's, is to be forced into an undesired marriage: in this case with the whore Kate Keepdown.

Sources


The play draws on two distinct sources. The original is "The Story of Epitia", a story from Cinthio's
Giovanni Battista Giraldi
Giovanni Battista Giraldi was an Italian novelist and poet. He appended the nickname Cinthio to his name and is commonly referred to by that name .Born at Ferrara, he was educated at the university there, and in 1525 became its professor of natural philosophy...

 Hecatommithi, first published in 1565. Shakespeare was familiar with this book as it contains the original source for Shakespeare's Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

. Cinthio also published the same story in a play version with some small differences, which Shakespeare may or may not have been aware of. The original story is an unmitigated tragedy in that Isabella's counterpart is forced to sleep with Angelo's counterpart, and her brother is still killed.

The other main source for the play is George Whetstone's
George Whetstone
George Whetstone was an English dramatist and author.He was the third son of Robert Whetstone , a member of a wealthy family that owned the manor of Walcot at Barnack, near Stamford, Lincolnshire...

 1578 lengthy two-part closet drama Promos and Cassandra, which itself is sourced from Cinthio. Whetstone adapted Cinthio's story by adding the comic elements and the bed and head tricks.

The title, which appears as a line of dialogue in the play, is usually thought to be a reference to the Bible, :
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Date, text and authorship


Measure for Measure is believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. The play was first published in 1623 in the First Folio
First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars commonly refer to it as the First Folio....

.

In their book Shakespeare Reshaped, 1606–1623, Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor (English literature scholar)
Gary Taylor is George Matthew Edgar Professor of English at Florida State University, author of numerous books and articles, and joint editor of the Oxford Shakespeare and .-Life:...

 and John Jowett
John Jowett
John D. Jowett is an English Shakespeare scholar and editor. He is the Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham and Deputy Director of the Shakespeare Institute....

 argue that part of the text of Measure that survives today is not in its original form, but rather the product of a revision after Shakespeare's death by Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson as among the most successful and prolific of playwrights who wrote their best plays during the Jacobean period. He was one of the few Renaissance dramatists to achieve equal success in...

. They present stylistic evidence that patches of writing are by Middleton, and argue that Middleton changed the setting to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 from the original Italy.

Performance


The earliest recorded performance of Measure for Measure took place on St. Stephen's night, 26 December 1604.
During the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, Measure was one of many Shakespearean plays adapted to the tastes of a new audience. Sir William Davenant
William Davenant
Sir William Davenant , also spelled D'Avenant, was an English poet and playwright. Along with Thomas Killigrew, Davenant was one of the rare figures in English Renaissance theatre whose career spanned both the Caroline and Restoration eras and who was active both before and after the English Civil...

 inserted Benedick and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing into his adaptation, called The Law Against Lovers
The Law Against Lovers
The Law Against Lovers was a dramatic adaptation of Shakespeare, arranged by Sir William Davenant and staged by the Duke's Company in 1662. It was the first of the many Shakespearean adaptations staged during the Restoration era....

. Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

 saw the hybrid play on 18 February 1662; he describes it in his Diary as "a good play, and well performed" – he was especially impressed by the singing and dancing of the young actress who played Viola, Beatrice's sister (Davenant's creation). Davenant rehabilitated Angelo, who is now only testing Isabella's chastity; the play ends with a triple marriage. This, among the earliest of Restoration adaptations, appears not to have succeeded on stage.

Charles Gildon
Charles Gildon
Charles Gildon , was an English hack writer who was, by turns, a translator, biographer, essayist, playwright, poet, author of fictional letters, fabulist, short story author, and critic. He provided the source for many lives of Restoration figures, although he appears to have propagated or...

 returned to Shakespeare's text in a 1699 production at Lincoln's Inn Fields
Lincoln's Inn Fields
Lincoln's Inn Fields is the largest public square in London, UK. It was laid out in the 1630s under the initiative of the speculative builder and contractor William Newton, "the first in a long series of entrepreneurs who took a hand in developing London", as Sir Nikolaus Pevsner observes...

. His adaptation, entitled Beauty the Best Advocate, removes all of the low-comic characters. Moreover, by making both Angelo and Mariana, and Claudio and Juliet, secretly married, he eliminates almost all of the illicit sexuality that is so central to Shakespeare's play. In addition, he integrates into the play scenes from Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

's opera Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell to a libretto by Nahum Tate. The first known performance was at Josias Priest's girls' school in London no later than the summer of 1688. The story is based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid...

, which Angelo watches sporadically throughout the play. Gildon also offers a partly facetious epilogue, spoken by Shakespeare's ghost, who complains of the constant revisions of his work. Like Davenant's, Gildon's version did not gain currency and was not revived.

John Rich
John Rich (producer)
John Rich was an important director and theatre manager in 18th century London. He opened the New Theatre at Lincoln's Inn Fields and then the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and began putting on ever more lavish productions...

 presented a version closer to Shakespeare's original in 1720.

In late Victorian times the subject matter of the play was deemed controversial, and there was an outcry when Adelaide Neilson
Adelaide Neilson
Lilian Adelaide Neilson , born Elizabeth Ann Brown, was an English stage actress.-Early life:Neilson was the daughter of a strolling actress, named Brown, and was born, out of wedlock, at 35 St Peters Square Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire...

 appeared as Isabella in the 1870s. The Oxford University Dramatic Society
Oxford University Dramatic Society
The Oxford University Dramatic Society is the principal funding body and provider of theatrical services to the many independent student productions put on by students in Oxford, England...

 found it necessary to edit it when staging it in February 1906, with Gervais Rentoul
Gervais Rentoul
Sir Gervais Squire Chittick Rentoul K.C.,M.A. , commonly known as Gervais Rentoul, was a British Conservative politician....

 as Angelo and Maud Hoffman as Isabella, and the same text was used when Oscar Asche
Oscar Asche
John Stange Heiss Oscar Asche , better known as Oscar Asche, was an Australian actor, director and writer, best known for having written, directed, and acted in the record-breaking musical Chu Chin Chow, both on stage and film, and for acting in, directing, or producing many Shakespeare plays and...

 and Lily Brayton
Lily Brayton
Elizabeth "Lily" Brayton was an English actress, known for her performances in Shakespeare plays and for her nearly 2,000 performances in the World War I hit musical Chu Chin Chow.-Early years:...

 staged it at the Adelphi Theatre
Adelphi Theatre
The Adelphi Theatre is a 1500-seat West End theatre, located on the Strand in the City of Westminster. The present building is the fourth on the site. The theatre has specialised in comedy and musical theatre, and today it is a receiving house for a variety of productions, including many musicals...

 in the following month.

William Poel
William Poel
William Poel was an English actor, theatrical manager and dramatist best known for his presentations of Shakespeare.-Life and career:...

 produced the play in 1893 at the Royalty and in 1908 at the Gaiety
Gaiety Theatre, Manchester
The Gaiety Theatre, Manchester was a theatre in Manchester, England. It was opened in 1884 and demolished in 1959. It replaced a previous Gaiety Theatre on the site which had been destroyed by fire....

 in Manchester, with himself as Angelo. In line with his other Elizabethan performances, these used the uncut text of Shakespeare's original with only minimal alterations. The use of an unlocalised stage lacking scenery, and the swift, musical delivery of dramatic speech set the standard for the rapidity and continuity shown in modern productions. Poel's work also marked the first determined attempt by a producer to give a modern psychological or theological reading of both the characters and the overall message of the play.

Notable more recent productions of Measure for Measure are Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton was an English-American stage and film actor, screenwriter, producer and director.-Early life and career:...

 as Angelo
Angelo (Shakespeare)
Angelo is a character in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure.-Role in the play:Angelo is the deputy to Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna, who begins the play by departing the city under mysterious circumstances and leaves the straight-laced Angelo in power...

 at the Old Vic Theatre in 1933, Peter Brook
Peter Brook
Peter Stephen Paul Brook CH, CBE is an English theatre and film director and innovator, who has been based in France since the early 1970s.-Life:...

's 1950 staging at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre with John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 as Angelo
Angelo (Shakespeare)
Angelo is a character in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure.-Role in the play:Angelo is the deputy to Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna, who begins the play by departing the city under mysterious circumstances and leaves the straight-laced Angelo in power...

, and a 1976 New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival is the previous name of the New York City theatrical producing organization now known as the Public Theater. The Festival produced shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of its free Shakespeare in the Park series, at the Public Theatre near Astor Place...

 production featuring Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film.Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with...

 as Isabella and John Cazale
John Cazale
John Holland Cazale , was an American film and theater actor. During his six-year film career he appeared in five films, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter.From his...

 as Angelo
Angelo (Shakespeare)
Angelo is a character in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure.-Role in the play:Angelo is the deputy to Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna, who begins the play by departing the city under mysterious circumstances and leaves the straight-laced Angelo in power...

. The play has only once been produced on Broadway, in a 1973 production that featured David Ogden Stiers
David Ogden Stiers
David Ogden Stiers is an American actor, director, vocal actor, and musician, noted for his roles in Disney movies, as well as his performances in the television series M*A*S*H as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III and the science fiction drama The Dead Zone as Reverend Gene Purdy...

 as Vincentio and Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline
Kevin Delaney Kline is an American theatre, voice, film actor and comedian. He has won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards, and has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards and an Emmy Award.- Early life :...

 in the small role of Friar Peter. It was later presented by the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1993, directed by Michael Rudman and starring Kevin Kline as the Duke, and with Andre Braugher as Angelo and Lisa Gay Hamilton as Isabella.

Film adaptations

  • 1979 BBC Version shot on videotape, directed by Desmond Davis, generally considered to be a faithful rendition of the play. Kate Nelligan
    Kate Nelligan
    Patricia Colleen "Kate" Nelligan is a Canadian BAFTA award winning stage, film and television actress.-Early life:Nelligan, the fourth of six children, was born in London, Ontario, the daughter of Josephine Alice , a schoolteacher, and Patrick Joseph Nelligan, a factory repairman and municipal...

     plays Isabella and Tim Pigott-Smith
    Tim Pigott-Smith
    Tim Pigott-Smith is an English film and television actor.-Early life:Pigott-Smith was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, the son of Margaret Muriel and Harry Thomas Pigott-Smith, who was a journalist. He was educated at Wyggeston Boys' School, Leicester, King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon, and...

     plays Angelo. Shown on PBS in the United States as part of the BBC Shakespeare series.
  • 1994 TV Adaptation set in the present, starring Tom Wilkinson
    Tom Wilkinson
    Thomas Geoffrey "Tom" Wilkinson, OBE is a British actor. He has twice been nominated for an Academy Award for his roles in In the Bedroom and Michael Clayton...

    , Corin Redgrave
    Corin Redgrave
    Corin William Redgrave was an English actor and political activist.-Early life:Redgrave was born in Marylebone, London, the only son and middle child of actors Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson...

     and Juliet Aubrey
    Juliet Aubrey
    Juliet Aubrey is a British actress, best known for her role as Helen Cutter on Primeval .-Career:Aubrey attended to King's College London, where she studied Classics and Archaeology...

    .
  • 2006 Version directed by Bob Komar, set in the British Army.

Musical adaptations

  • The opera Das Liebesverbot
    Das Liebesverbot
    Das Liebesverbot is an early opera in two acts by Richard Wagner, with the libretto written by the composer after Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Described as a grosse komische Oper, it was composed in 1834, and Wagner conducted the premiere in 1836 at Magdeburg...

    (1836) by Richard Wagner
    Richard Wagner
    Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

     with the libretto written by the composer based on Measure for Measure

  • The musical Desperate Measures
    Desperate Measures (musical)
    Desperate Measures is a musical with music by David Friedman and book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, the work is set in the American Old West and uses a cast of six.-Premiere:...

    (2004), with book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg
    Peter Kellogg (writer)
    Peter Kellogg is a Tony-nominated musical theater book writer and lyricist. He wrote the lyrics and the book for the 1992 production of the Broadway musical Anna Karenina, for which he received two 1993 Tony Award nominations. One for Best Book of a musical and one for the Best Original Score...

     and music by David Friedman
    David Friedman (composer)
    David Alan Friedman is a film and theatre composer, songwriter, author, lyricist and conductor based in New York City.His songs include: Listen to My Heart, Help is on the Way, We Can Be Kind, We Live on Borrowed Time, I'll Be Here With You, Just in Time for Christmas and My Simple Christmas...


Cultural references


  • The character of Mariana inspired Tennyson
    Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson
    Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language....

     for his poem Mariana
    Mariana (poem)
    Mariana is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson published in 1830. The poem follows a common theme in much of Tennyson's work—that of despondent isolation. The subject of Mariana is a woman who continuously laments her lack of connection with society. The isolation defines her existence, and her longing...

    (1830).
  • The plot of the play was taken by Alexander Pushkin in his poetic tale Angelo (1833). Pushkin had begun to translate the Shakespearean play, but finally arrived at a generally non-dramatic tale with some dialogue scenes.
  • Joyce Carol Oates
    Joyce Carol Oates
    Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over fifty novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction...

    ' short story In the Region of Ice
    In the Region of Ice
    In the Region of Ice is a 1976 short film directed by Peter Werner, based upon the short story of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates. It won an Academy Award in 1977 for Best Short Subject....

    contains the soliloquy from Claudio to his sister, and also parallels the same plea with the student, Allen Weinstein, and his teacher, Sister Irene.
  • Thomas Hardy
    Thomas Hardy
    Thomas Hardy, OM was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.While he regarded himself primarily as a...

    's novel, The Woodlanders
    The Woodlanders
    The Woodlanders is a novel by Thomas Hardy. It was published in 1887.-Plot summary:The story takes place in a small woodland village called Little Hintock, and concerns the efforts of an honest woodsman, Giles Winterborne, to marry his childhood sweetheart, Grace Melbury...

    , quotes the Duke.
  • The Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the...

     play, Round Heads and Pointed Heads
    Round Heads and Pointed Heads
    Round Heads and Pointed Heads is an epic parable play written by the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht, in collaboration with Margarete Steffin, Emil Burri, Elisabeth Hauptmann, and the composer Hanns Eisler...

    , was originally written as an adaptation of Measure for Measure.
  • Thomas Pynchon
    Thomas Pynchon
    Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

    's early short-story, "Mortality and Mercy in Vienna", take its title from a verse in this play, and has also been inspired by it.
  • The plot of the second episode of Blackadder II
    Blackadder II
    Blackadder II is the second series of the BBC situation comedy Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 9 January 1986 to 20 February 1986...

    , "Head", echoes plot elements of the play, with the titular character, as Executioner, swapping around heads in order to pretend that a criminal is alive rather than dead.
  • The Monty Python Sketch "How to recognize different parts of the body" contains an underwater recital of "Measure for Measure"

External links