Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

      Some scholars have categorized some of Shakespeare’s plays as problem plays. There are three of them: All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida.

      These plays are characterized by their complex sensibilities and confusing plots. There are elements of tragedy and comedy in such plays. Measure for Measure centres around sensuality and depravity in Vienna.

      The Duke of Vienna took a break from ruling and appointed a strict judge Angelo as the interim ruler. A citizen named Claudius was convicted of impregnating a woman he was to marry and was ordered to be executed. Claudius’ sister Isabella, a nun, rushed to plead with Angelo who asked her to submit to his will, if Claudius was to be released. Angelo had been betrothed to Mariana whom he did not marry because she had no dowry.

      As it turned out the Duke, in fact, had not left the palace and was disguised as a friar. He saw to it that justice was served to everyone and the guilty were punished. The play’s main themes include justice, morality and mercy.

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