The Oxford Shakespeare: Measure for Measure

Edited by N. W. Bawcutt

Recalling the verse from St Matthew’s Gospel: ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again,’ this play presents thought-provoking conundrums about justice, liberty and mercy.

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Limited stock: 36 left


The Oxford Shakespeare: Measure for Measure

All power corrupts, runs the axiom, and when the Duke of Vienna hands power over to the virtuous Angelo, it is not long before the would-be reformer reveals his own flaws. He offers to save the brother of novice nun Isabella, condemned to death for lechery, if she will surrender her virginity to him. The disguised Duke observes all, yet when he returns to bring order and justice, the expected happy ending turns sour. In the play’s final five lines, the Duke proposes that he himself marry Isabella. She makes no reply. Her silence can be interpreted in many ways – is she pleased? angry? undecided? Shakespeare leaves us to ask whether we are witnessing a happy finale, or the exchange of one tyrant for another.

Production Details

The Oxford Shakespeare: Measure for Measure book
  • 272 pages
  • Printed on Caxton Wove Off-White paper
  • Bound in buckram with a printed paper label
  • Coloured endpapers
  • Spine blocked in gold
  • Head and tail bands
  • 8¾” x 5½”

About the series

Published by Oxford University Press and bound in hardback buckram by The Folio Society, The Oxford Shakespeare series offers authoritative editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The early printings have been scrupulously re-examined and interpreted by eminent scholars, who also provide introductory essays covering all relevant background information, together with an appraisal of critical views and of the plays in performance. The exhaustive commentaries pay particular attention to language and staging. Reprints of sources, music for songs, genealogical tables and maps are included where necessary; many of the volumes are illustrated, and all contain an index.

Each book has an individual editor, with the whole series overseen by Stanley Wells.

About the editor

N. R. Bawcutt is Reader in English Literature at the University of Liverpool


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