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Measure for Measure (Cambridge School Shakespeare) [Paperback]

William Shakespeare , Jane Coles , Rex Gibson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 26, 1993 0521425069 978-0521425063
Like every other play in the Cambridge School Shakespeare series, Measure for Measure has been specially prepared to help all students in schools and colleges. This version of Measure for Measure aims to be different from other editions of the play. It invites you to bring the play to life in your classroom through enjoyable activities that will help increase your understanding. You are encourage to make up your own mind about the play, rather than have someone else's interpretation handed down to you. Whatever you do, remember that Shakespeare wrote his plays to be acted, watched and enjoyed.

Frequently Bought Together

Measure for Measure (Cambridge School Shakespeare) + The Winter's Tale: Third Series (Arden Shakespeare) + The Tempest (The Pelican Shakespeare)
Price for all three: $37.42

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Professor Bawcutt has produced an edition that should flourish in the classroom. The introduction is both thorough and user-friendly, while the notes consistently promote clear explication. Overall the edition is crisp, efficient, and illuminating."--Ronald J. Boling, Lyon College


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Like every other play in the Cambridge School Shakespeare series, Measure for Measure has been specially prepared to help all students in schools and colleges. This version of Measure for Measure aims to be different from other editions of the play. It invites you to bring the play to life in your classroom through enjoyable activities that will help increase your understanding. You are encourage to make up your own mind about the play, rather than have someone else's interpretation handed down to you. Whatever you do, remember that Shakespeare wrote his plays to be acted, watched and enjoyed.

Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge School Shakespeare
  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 26, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521425069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521425063
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King's New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Measure for Measure is seldom read, and not often performed in the United States. Why? Although many of Shakespeare's plays deal bluntly with sexual issues, Measure for Measure does so in an unusually ugly and disgusting way for Shakespeare. This play is probably best suited for adults, as a result.
I see Measure for Measure as closest to The Merchant of Venice in its themes. Of the two plays, I prefer Measure for Measure for its unremitting look at the arbitrariness of laws, public hypocrisy and private venality, support for virtue, and encouragement of tempering public justice with common sense and mercy.
The play opens with Duke Vincentio turning over his authority to his deputy, Angelo. But while the duke says he is leaving for Poland, he in fact remains in Vienna posing as a friar. Angelo begins meting out justice according to the letter of the law. His first act is to condemn Claudio to death for impregnating Juliet. The two are willing to marry, but Angelo is not interested in finding a solution. In despair, Claudio gets word to his sister, the beautiful Isabella, that he is to be executed and prays that she will beg for mercy. Despite knowing that Isabella is a virgin novice who is about to take her vows, Angelo cruelly offers to release Claudio of Isabella will make herself sexually available to Angelo. The Duke works his influence behind the scenes to help create justice.
Although this play is a "comedy" in Shakespearean terms, the tension throughout is much more like a tragedy. In fact, there are powerful scenes where Shakespeare draws on foolish servants of the law to make his points clear. These serve a similar role of lessening the darkness to that of the gravediggers in Hamlet.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Footnotes and Line Numbers October 3, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was very satisfied with this version of William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure." As far as Shakespeare goes, different editions of the plays can be drastically different, not generally in actual Shakespearian context, but in the quality and quantity of footnotes and helpful information. Throughout this book the footnotes are on the left-hand page while the actual play is on the right-hand page. There are also scene summaries in the footnotes at the beginning of each scene, which I found very helpful in understanding. There are also longer notes on some topics at the back of the book. As far as the footnotes go, I have been very satisfied with the amount of information and the layout of the book. My one complaint is that I purchased this book for a class and everyone else is using a different edition and for some reason the line numbers are different in my book from the ones that they are using. Mine are always higher, so I'm assuming I have some additional lines that were edited out in their version, but it causes some problems and I wonder which version is more widely accepted. Either way, I'm very satisfied with this edition and all the supplementary information it provides.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Later and more "serious" comedies December 1, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Measure for Measure was reportedly written just before King Lear and while typically identified as a comedy it has some elements in common with Lear, most notably the Duke's voluntary abdication of power that sets the play in motion. The theme of hypocrisy is explored through the character of Angelo who on assuming power begins to enforce long dormant laws that he himself cannot ultimately comply with. I once saw an RSC production of this in which the Duke was played to great effect as a tragi-comic figure who was incredibly longwinded and self-absorbed in the opening act. This completely changed the way I read this play, and reinforced for me the important difference that good direction and interpretation on stage can make when dealing with Shakespeare.

This play is the work of a mature and self-confident Shakespeare at the height of his powers and is well worth the effort. There are so many memorable lines that my copy is marked up and underlined on every other page.

As for the edition- The Folger Library paperbacks are wonderful. The facing pages have notes and interpretations of obscure phrasing that are very useful allowing for easy reference without interrupting the flow of the play.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork full of ideas and indelible characters February 16, 2005
Format:Paperback
While not one of Shakespeare's transcendent achievements, "Measure for Measure" is very much a masterwork. While easy to read and to follow, it actually has a vast number of moral complexities that challenge us to think about our own humanity, our sense of justice and charity, and the ways in which even the best among us are so easily compromised.

The title, of course, comes from the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 7:2 says: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. While the surface reading of this verse seems to be talking about judging righteousness or evil (and it is that), it goes much deeper. It is also choosing one thing over another and the necessity of harvesting what those choices unavoidably bring.

This play is inhabited by many strange characters that exhibit all sorts of self-contained contradictions. The Duke of a very decadent Vienna who decrees that extra-marital relations will be punished by death, who is uncomfortable with public adulation, who spends most of the play disguised as a Friar. He is not called the Duke of Dark Corners for nothing. Poor Claudio is arrested and sentenced to die because is beloved Juliet is about to give birth to their child. This while the bawd Pompey is arrested and let off without even being whipped. Angelo, who is certainly no angel, is put in temporary power by the Duke during his time away from court. It is Angelo who has Claudio arrested and sentenced.

Isabelle, Claudio's sister, is about to take her vows as a nun, but comes to plead for her brother. Angelo says he will spare Claudio if she will let Angelo take her chastity. She refuses, but consents to the Friar's plan to ensnare Angelo.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars No annotations on Paperwhite
On my Kindle Paperwhite I do not see any annotations. Unless you are a Shakespeare scholar, you need intelligent annotations to understand archaic words and allusions. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Micheletto
5.0 out of 5 stars Measure for Measure - CD
Good production like all Archangel production with excellent artists, music, and production quality. I reccommend to buy this product. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
A must read for a college course and my child made no comment on it so I have to assume it was good.
Published 4 months ago by Roxane Lynch
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a problem
Dealing with heavy issues such as the fear of eternal torment after death, and the frequency which sin and immorality are rewarded instead of punished in life. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ross Strasko
5.0 out of 5 stars A review by Dr. Joseph Suglia, the Greatest Author in the World
A review of MEASURE FOR MEASURE (Shakespeare)
by Dr. Joseph Suglia

No play in the Shakespearean canon is as politically radical as Measure for Measure, suggesting,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Joseph Suglia
4.0 out of 5 stars A Grade!
This was I ordered for my sister for her A Level English Literature, and she got an A, what more is there to say! Arrived promptly and in a new condition as described.
Published 6 months ago by Tahir Usman
5.0 out of 5 stars nice one
I really enjoy reading this book, and the one I get is a very nice one, and it is very new~~
Published 7 months ago by May
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of Errors
This copy is so incorrect it's almost impossible to read. Would not recommend this copy at all. They don't even have the correct characters saying the correct lines. Read more
Published 7 months ago by expat wife
4.0 out of 5 stars Great narrative!
Great book! Definitely worth reading. Heartrending but inspirational. Great story read. Once you start, you will not be able to stop.
Published 8 months ago by Stacy Lynn Novak
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Formatting
As others have mentioned, the Kindle formatting for this play is atrocious. The words are not centered on the page and so not all the words are visible and a character's name is... Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. J. Christensen
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