Measure for Measure | Literature Criticism Infinite Space: Representation and Reformation in
Measure for Measure

This literature criticism consists of approximately 37 pages of analysis & critique of Measure for Measure.
This section contains 10,861 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Infinite Space: Representation and Reformation in Measure for Measure

Huston Diehl, University of Iowa

Measure for Measure is a deeply dissatisfying comedy, so problematic that, as Jean Howard argues, it "puts critics under stress."1 They typically respond by judging, finding fault with the play's structure, the Duke's elaborate manipulations, Isabella's ethical choices, Shakespeare's use of the bed-trick, and, especially, the final trial scene, with its exaggerated theatricality, its failure to effect any real reformation, and its unsettling subversion of the conventional comic ending.2 Identifying a pattern of failed, inadequate, and problematic substitutions in Measure for Measure, Alexander Leggatt, like many other critics, concludes that the play is flawed:

I am not saying that Shakespeare, in order to make a point about the imperfection of his art, deliberately wrote an imperfect play. .. . He seems, however, to have found Measure for Measure...

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This section contains 10,861 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Infinite Space: Representation and Reformation in Measure for Measure