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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Measure for Measure and a Puzzle
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0190  Monday, 20 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	Tom Krause <
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	Date: 	Friday, March 17, 2006 9:16 AM
	Subj: 	SHK 17.0185 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[2] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Friday, 17 Mar 2006 12:08:12 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0189 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[3] 	From: 	Stuart Manger <
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	Date: 	Friday, 17 Mar 2006 17:53:17 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0189 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[4] 	From: 	Thomas M. Lahey <
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	Date: 	Friday, 17 Mar 2006 23:47:43 -0800
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0181 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[5] 	From: 	Carol Barton <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 18 Mar 2006 08:19:21 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0189 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[6] 	From: 	Donald Bloom <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 18 Mar 2006 08:51:14 -0600
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0185 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[7] 	From: 	David Basch <
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	Date: 	Sunday, 19 Mar 2006 12:05:50 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0181 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tom Krause <
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Date: 		Friday, March 17, 2006 9:16 AM
Subject: Measure for Measure and a Puzzle
Comment: 	SHK 17.0185 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

It's hard not to agree with Abigail Quart about who is "good" and who is 
"bad" in Measure for Measure, but I'm not sure she's being quite fair. 
Isn't condemning Isabella at odds with one of the play's premises -- 
that Isabella is going to become a nun, who will help solve the world's 
problems by devoting herself to God and prayer?  Isn't Claudio's initial 
reaction -- realizing that saving himself will involve thwarting the 
divine plan for Isabella -- the noble and appropriate one, given this 
premise?  While it's easy for us to reject the premise, is it fair to do 
so in forming our moral judgments of these characters?

The bizarre and unhuman behavior (so rare in the canon) of so many of 
MMs characters has led many to assume -- rightly, I think -- that it 
must contain some extratextual meaning, whether it's an allegory for the 
Bible itself (see G. Wilson Knight, Measure for Measure and the Gospels; 
Michael Sugrue, Teaching Company tapes on The Bible and Western 
Culture), a call for religious toleration (see James Ellison, "Measure 
for Measure and the Executions of Catholics in 1604, English Literary 
Renaissance 33:1 (2003)); an exercise in nihilism that contains a 
"simultaneous invocation and evasion of Christian beliefs and Christian 
morals" (Harold Bloom) , or (horrors) an allegory for debasement of the 
coinage (see www.wmshakespeare.com).

Tom Krause

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Friday, 17 Mar 2006 12:08:12 -0500
Subject: 17.0189 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0189 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

 >I don't suppose this is the best time to bring up the suggestion that
 >Helena rapes Bertram in All's Well.

The bed trick as rape?  Hmmmm.  This reminds me of a story going around 
London a few years ago:  A young lady wearing a miniskirt, fishnet 
stockings and a low-cut top went into the Hilton bar (close to Curzon 
St. and Shepherd's Market) and ordered a drink.  When it arrived she 
handed a 

 

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