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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Re: *MM* Ending
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0177.  Tuesday, 7 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Michael Best <
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        Date:   Monday, 06 Mar 95 10:14:19 PST
        Subj:   Measure for Measure ending
 
(2)     From:   Thomas Hall <
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        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 15:21:53 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Measure for Measure
 
(3)     From:   Robert Saenger <
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        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 23:17:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0170 Qs: *MM*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <
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Date:           Monday, 06 Mar 95 10:14:19 PST
Subject:        Measure for Measure ending
 
There have been a number of productions of Measure for Measurs that have ended
with Isabella rejecting the Duke (I remember one at Ashland in, I think, the
late seventies). Personally, I like the BBC version where Isabella is given a
*very* long pause after the Duke's proposal -- time to wonder will she, won't
she -- then accepts, acknowledging the artifice of comedy.
 
Is it possible to leave the ending open (as in a way the text does)? Isabella
motionless (the text leaves her silent), or shrugging, non- committal?
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Hall <
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Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 15:21:53 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Measure for Measure
 
To Warner Crocker,
 
In a recent class on "Outsiders in Shakespeare" we decided that Isabella didn't
discuss the Duke's proposal.  In fact we imagined her response to be one of
distaste or revulsion.  The poor thing was just about to enter a nunnery, that
wasn't even strict enough, when she got hit on by not just one but two powerful
men.
 
Isabella has been described as being "a vixen in her virtue."  I don't think
that this has changed by the play's end.
 
                                        Thomas Hall
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Saenger <
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Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 23:17:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0170 Qs: *MM*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0170 Qs: *MM*
 
In response to Warner Crocker's issue of Isabella's does-she-or-doesn't-she
debate regarding the Duke's proposal--  I am convinced that Stephen Booth has
the right solution, although I have never seen it onstage.  The Duke and
Isabella have a brisk, triumphant union and proceed offstage, together, in
perfect comedic resolution.  It is not until some thirty minutes after the
curtain call that the audience realizes that something went horribly wrong.
 
When modern directors slow down and deconstruct an ending like this or that of
AWTEW, they are attempting to over-paint Shakespeare's irony with heavy
strokes.  The Bard did it better; I say, let the play itself, with all its
contradictory impulses, generate its own aftermath.
 

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