A dark, sometimes bitter play, Measure for Measure is a comedy that often feels more like the tragedies Shakespeare was writing in the same period. Its preoccupation with themes of sex, morality, and the law are far removed from A Midsummer Night's Dream's and As You Like It's lovers frolicking in green woods. Set in urban Vienna, Measure for Measure depicts a near-criminal underworld that many Elizabethans would have associated with the world of the public theatres themselves.

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Footnotes

  1. Summary: facts about Measure for Measure

    Written:1601-1606
    Registered: November 8, 1623, by Edward Blount and Issac Jaggard
    First published: 1623 (the Folio)
    First mentioned: 26 December 1604, a performance "By his Maiesties plaiers. On St Stiuens night in the Hall A play Caled Mesur for Mesur. Shaxberd." (Quoted from the Revels Accounts.)

    Source: Promos and Cassandra, a play by George Whetstone, published in two parts in 1578.