Measure for Measure

Adaptations and cultural references

Film adaptations

  • 1979 BBC version shot on videotape, directed by Desmond Davis, generally considered to be a faithful rendition of the play. Kate Nelligan plays Isabella, Tim Pigott-Smith plays Angelo and Kenneth Colley plays the Duke. Shown on PBS in the United States as part of the BBC Shakespeare series.
  • 1994 TV adaptation set in the present, starring Tom Wilkinson, Corin Redgrave and Juliet Aubrey.
  • 2006 Version directed by Bob Komar, set in the British Army.

Musical adaptations

  • The opera Das Liebesverbot (1836) by Richard Wagner with the libretto written by the composer based on Measure for Measure
  • The musical Desperate Measures (2004), with book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg and music by David Friedman

Cultural references

  • The character of Mariana inspired Tennyson for his poem "Mariana" (1830).
  • The plot of the play was taken by Alexander Pushkin in his poetic tale Angelo (1833). Pushkin had begun to translate the Shakespearean play, but finally arrived at a generally non-dramatic tale with some dialogue scenes.
  • Joyce Carol Oates' short story "In the Region of Ice" contains the dialog between Claudio and his sister, and also parallels the same plea with the student, Allen Weinstein, and his teacher, Sister Irene.
  • Thomas Hardy's novel, The Woodlanders, quotes the Duke.
  • The Bertolt Brecht play, Round Heads and Pointed Heads, was originally written as an adaptation of Measure for Measure.
  • Thomas Pynchon's early short-story, "Mortality and Mercy in Vienna", takes its title from a verse in this play, and has also been inspired by it.
  • The plot of the second episode of Blackadder II, "Head", echoes plot elements of the play, with the titular character, as Executioner, swapping around heads in order to pretend that a criminal is alive rather than dead.
  • The Monty Python's Flying Circus episode "How to recognize different parts of the body" contains an underwater recital of Measure for Measure.
  • Mr. Beavis, in Aldous Huxley's Eyeless in Gaza, compares a "tingling warmth" he feels while listening to Mrs. Foxe to reading the last scene of Measure for Measure.
  • Lauren Willig's 2011 novel Two L is based on Measure for Measure.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.