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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Re: *MM* Ending
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0201.  Sunday, 12 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Diane Mountford <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Mar 1995 23:28:33 -0500
        Subj:   Re: *MM* Ending
 
(2)     From:   Juliet A. Youngren <
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        Date:   Saturday, 11 Mar 1995 18:06:07 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   MM ending
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Diane Mountford <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Mar 1995 23:28:33 -0500
Subject:        Re: *MM* Ending
 
I played Isabella last year, so this view is strictly from the actor's point of
view . . .
 
It was impossible for my Isabella to accept the Duke/Friar's offer of marriage.
Even amidst the confusing onslaught of events in the final scene (being told to
lie, lying for the first time in her life, being called a liar for the true
parts, being sent to prison, etc.), the impression of being used became very
clear when her closest ally and her second worst enemy in this situation turn
out to be the same person.
 
Althouth I agree that the full depth of the deception probably doesn't sink in
for Isabella, or for the audience, until after the play ends, she's too smart
to not clue in. Here is a man who has supported her through the most horrific
days of her life, and it turns out that all along he has had the power to set
things right.  He could have told her that Claudio was still alive, but
apparently didn't trust her that much . . . this is not the foundation of a
happy marriage.
 
But then I always thought she would be much happier with Angelo. He's a
hypocrite and a villain, but he's relatively straightforward.  What a
labirynthine maze of deceipt awaits the wife of the Duke!
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Juliet A. Youngren <
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Date:           Saturday, 11 Mar 1995 18:06:07 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        MM ending
 
For a discussion of the some of the many ways the ending to _Measure for
Measure_ has been handled, you might find this book helpful:  _As She Likes It:
 Shakespeare's Unruly Women_, by Penny Gay (Routledge, 1994). The book is a
history of how 5 of Shakespeare's comedies have been performed at the RSC since
the mid '40s, with special emphasis on how the heroines have been played.
 
Juliet Youngren
 

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