“Measure”: Shakespeare Play Of 2015

If I were a director, the only Shakespeare I’d want to direct (other than “Henry IV,” of course: the greatest play(s) in the English language) is “Measure for Measure.” Others this year are equally attracted. Why? “[Isabella’s] willingness to be a martyr for chastity – and Angelo’s moral crackdown, backed by capital punishment – would seem less quaint to the Tea Party wing of the Republicans, at the Vatican, or in countries and cultures subject to Islamic sharia law. And so the conflict in the Vienna of the play between sexual licentiousness and censoriousness has an obvious contemporary topicality, while the play’s broader exploration of the nature of justice is perennially relevant.”

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