The past debates around Isabella’s worth as a character perturb Marcia Riefer, author of “ ‘Instruments of Some More Mightier Member’ : The Constriction of Female Power in Measure for Measure.” Riefer, combatting past interpretations of Isabella as either an “angel” or a “vixen” develops a clear argument about the damaging effect of patriarchy in the play Measure for Measure, dividing her argument into six clearly articulated and logically flowing points. Continue reading
Ah, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure — it’s no wonder Shakespearean scholars consider it a “problem play” (JStor – Measure for Measure and Elizabethan Comedy). Both the Duke and Isabella have some obvious moral issues that raise questions that need to be answered when deciding how the play is to be performed.
In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander delivers the line, “The course of true love never did run smooth” (I.1, 134). He is referring to his own romantic complications in regards to marrying Hermia. This line, however, very aptly describes all the romantic relationships in the play. There is nary a functional relationship to be found. Continue reading