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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Re: Measure for Measure in Melbourne
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0559  Friday, 24 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Edward Pixley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 10:43:12 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0531 Measure for Measure in Melbourne

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2000 08:52:36 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0531 Measure for Measure in Melbourne


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Pixley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 10:43:12 -0500
Subject: 11.0531 Measure for Measure in Melbourne
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0531 Measure for Measure in Melbourne

> I find the character of the Duke fascinating: how are we meant to take
> him?  If you analyse his actions in an objective way, he seems both
> cowardly and manipulating in abandoning his responsibilities but playing
> with people's fates and affections to his own benefit.
> Tim Richards.

I've always enjoyed taking a metatheatrical view of the Duke.  He tries
to stage Vienna's reform, casting Angelo as the reformer, and then uses
his disguise to sit back and enjoy the show.  His cast, of course, fails
to follow his imagined script, and he has to keep rewriting as he moves
through the play to make sure it  has an appropriate denouement.  It
becomes particularly troubling when he finds Lucio involving him as a
cast member (with his own sardonic take on the drama), when the drunken
fellow (Abhorson?) on death row refuses to be executed that day, and
when his attraction to Isabella makes his own involvement even more
personal.  Puppetmaster is also a helpful image for him.  I find the
Duke an immensely comic character, totally confident of his own wisdom
and compassion and totally out of touch with reality.  But he is so
wonderfully determined to make things come out right in the end.  No one
in the play, not even Isabella, learns more than he about fallibility.

Ed Pixley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Mar 2000 08:52:36 -0800
Subject: 11.0531 Measure for Measure in Melbourne
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0531 Measure for Measure in Melbourne

Tim Richards writes:

> I thought the text had a lot to say about the foolishness of
> enforcing laws that human nature will drive people to break anyway (read
> into this a consideration of Prohibition, drug and prostitution laws).

This sentence seems, though I'm sure that you didn't intend it, to
naturalize prostitution, and hence naturalize the fact that, as you put
it in the review, "women's bodies have too often been treated as a
commodity to be bought, sold or bartered."

Cheers,
Se

 

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