The Oxford Shakespeare: Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare
Edited by N. W. Bawcutt
Published by Oxford University Press

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. Published by Oxford University Press.

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.

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
272 pages
8¾” x 5½”
Published by Oxford University Press

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