Shakespeare's "Measure For Measure" The Female Characters

6679 words - 27 pages

Introduction and problem definitionIn this essay I would like to state thoughts and answer questions concerning the play “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare.This play is called a problem play and this is why I would like to solve one of its problems regarding the female characters. After reading various interpretations of the historical play I thought it would be interesting to evaluate in which way the main females have an influence on the story and the way the reader or the audience reacts to it. How come there are so many different interpretations of the woman of the play? And which one would be most fitting?After preparing a talk during the semester about Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida” with special emphasis on Cressida, as a character that still divides critics’ opinions, I started being interested in the role of women between the 16th and 17th century.My essay will feature a general overview of the story and characters. This way it will be easier to prepare a context. Within my writing I will concentrate on the female characters of the play and in which environment they interact. Doing this I will focus on different interpretations by diverse critics and historical facts from the early modern age. I will close this essay with a conclusion of what I found out about the play.To write this essay I first read the play by William Shakespeare in German and after that I read the original English version. Following this I went to a library and got some books about interpretations about “Measure for Measure”. At this point I was not sure yet what topic I will work on. Within the course of reading various interpretations and repeatedly reading the play I was sure that I would want to focus on the female characters of the play. Then I got to the thought that I would not be able to make statements about the females if I do not know anything specific about their historical background. This is how I decided to read more about The Early Modern Age and especially their women. I started making notes and preparing a rough outline of the events and customs that happened during this time period and fit them to the different happenings in the play. I hope I made the right choices in putting those puzzle pieces together and wrote an understandable essay about the women in Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”.Character constellationsVincento, The Duke, is the ruler of Vienna and passes down his power along to Angelo.Angelo is the Duke’s deputy and later gets married to his ex fiancée Marianna.Claudio is a young man who is supposed to get hanged because he gets his fiancée Juliet pregnant before their marriage.Lucio is Claudio’s friend.Isabella is Claudio’s sister.Marianna is Angelo’s ex-fiancée.Mistress Overdone is a mistress of a brothel in Vienna.Act 1First I would like to introduce a short summary of the Act One in “Measure for Measure”.The...

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