Since the rediscovery of Elizabethan stage conditions early this century, admiration for Measure for Measure has steadily risen. It is now a favourite with the critics and has attracted widely different styles of performance. At one extreme, the play is seen as a religious allegory; at the other, it has been interpreted as a comedy protesting against power and privilege. Brian Gibbons focuses on the unique tragi-comic experience of watching the play, the intensity and excitement offered by its dramatic rhythm, the reversals and surprises which shock the audience even to the end. His introduction considers how the play's critical reception and stage history have varied according to prevailing social, moral and religious issues, which have remained highly sensitive. This updated edition contains a new introductory section by Angela Stock, which describes recent stage, film and critical interpretations, and an updated reading list.
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