Measure for Measure | Alexander Leggatt

This literature criticism consists of approximately 34 pages of analysis & critique of Measure for Measure.
This section contains 9,941 words
(approx. 34 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "Substitution in Measure for Measure," in Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 3, Autumn, 1988, pp. 342-59.

In the essay below, Leggatt stresses that not only is the use of substitutions pervasive in Measure for Measure, but that the substitutions are all problematic in that they fail to achieve the intended ends, or they are in some way unsatisfying. Leggatt concludes that the substitutions, although revealing, are incomplete.

In the sources that Shakespeare used for Measure For Measure, the heroine gives her own body to the judge in order to save her brother. Shakespeare spares Isabella that fate by putting Mariana in her place. This substitution is part of a pattern of substitution, virtually a chain reaction, that runs through the play. A. D. Nuttall has called "vicarious action" the "principal idea" of the play,1 and James Black has shown how pervasive the idea is: not only does Mariana substitute for...

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This section contains 9,941 words
(approx. 34 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Alexander Leggatt
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Alexander Leggatt from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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