Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure

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Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure

Read FREE!

Synopsis

The new Pelican Shakespeare series incorporates the more than thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the acclaimed original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. The general editors of the new series of forty volumes-the renowned Shakespeareans Stephen Orgel of Stanford University and A. R. Braunmuller of UCLA-have assembled a team of eminent scholars who have, along with the general editors themselves, prepared new introductions and notes to all of Shakespeare's plays and poems. Redesigned in an easy-to-read format that preserves the favorite features of the original, including an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare, an introduction to the individual play, and a note on the text used. The new Pelican Shakespeare will be an excellent resource for students, teachers, and theatre professionals well into the twenty first century.

Excerpt

Measure for Measure stands the fourth in the list of Comedies in the folio of 1623, where it was first printed. The divisions and subdivisions of acts and scenes are carefully noted in the original edition, and at the end is a list of the persons represented, under the usual heading, "The names of all the actors." Though the general scope and sense of the dialogue are everywhere clear enough, there are several obscure and doubtful words and passages, which cause us to regret, more than in any of the preceding plays, the want of earlier impressions to illustrate, and rectify, or establish, the text. As it is, the right reading in some places can scarce be cleared of uncertainty, or placed beyond controversy.

The strongly-marked peculiarity in the language, cast of thought, and moral temper of Measure for Measure, have invested the play with great psychological interest, and bred a strange curiosity among critics to connect it in some way with the author's mental history; with some supposed crisis in his feelings and experience. Hence the probable date of its composition was for a long time argued more strenuously than the subject would otherwise seem to justify; and, as often falls out in such cases, the more the critics argued the point, the farther they were from coming to an agreement. But, what is not a little remarkable, the best thinkers have here struck widest of the truth; the dull matter-of-fact critics have borne the palm away from their more philosophical brethren;--an edifying instance how little the brightest speculation can do in questions properly falling within the domain of facts.

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