The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0401 Thursday, 24 February 2000.
Date: Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 20:22:07 -0500
Subject: Double Time in MforM
I know that the time scheme of Othello is the subject of immense
commentary, but what about the timing problems in Measure for Measure?
It's hard to come up with a reasonable chronology for Claudio's death
sentence ("he dies tomorrow") in conjunction with Angelo's two
interviews with Isabella, a day apart and presumably during daylight,
and their supposed midnight rendezvous (which would have to be the night
after the second interview).
Then, how long has Isabella been in the convent? The "have you no
further privileges" dialogue sounds like Isabella has just reported for
boot camp, but there are other indications that she is about to take her
final vows after the novitiate, which argues for a longish period of
time inside. For her not to know that her "cousin" Juliet is almost nine
months pregnant suggests that Isabella has been out of circulation for
at least five and a half months.
I suspect if you could ask the characters six months after the end of
Act V, they wouldn't associate "comedy" and "marriage" very closely