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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $14.00
  • November 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93171-6
  • 272 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Measure for Measure

Norton Critical Editions


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William Shakespeare (Author), Grace Ioppolo (Editor, University of Reading)


This Norton Critical Edition looks at the full range of opinion and interpretation of this major play from its origins to the present day, from its “genius” (William Hazlitt) to its being a “hateful work, although Shakespearean throughout” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge), and beyond.

The Norton Critical Edition is based on the 1623 First Folio text, the only authoritative edition of the play. The editor has modernized spelling but preserves, for the most part, the original lineation and characteristically heavy punctuation. The text of Measure for Measure is accompanied by a full introduction, a note on the text, textual variants, and related illustrations.

“Sources” considers the probable, primary, and analogous sources Shakespeare drew upon while composing Measure for Measure, including excerpts from G. B. Giraldi Cinthio’s Hecatommithi and The Tragedy of Epitia, King James I’s Basilikon Doron, and—most directly—George Whetstone’s The History of Promos and Cassandra.

“Criticism” collects seventeen important commentaries on Measure for Measure spanning four centuries, including, among others, those by Alexander Pope, Charlotte Lennox, Samuel Johnson, Elizabeth Inchbald, A. C. Bradley, G. Wilson Knight, Jonathan Dollimore, and Marliss C. Desens.

“Adaptations and Responses” reprints alternative versions of the play: William D’avenant’s The Law Against Lovers (1662), Charles Gildon’s Measure of Measure, or, Beauty the Best Advocate (1700), and Charles Marowitz’s postmodern version (1975).

A Selected Bibliography is also included.



    List of Illustrations


    The Text of Measure for Measure

    A Note on the Text

    Textual Variants



    1. Giraldi Cinthio : From Hecatommithi
      1. : From The Tragedy of Epitia


    1. George Whetstone : From Promos and Cassandra
    2. King James I : From Basilikon Doron [The King’s Gift]


    1. Thomas Lupton : From The Second Part of Too Good to Be True
    2. Barnaby Rich : From The Adventures of Brusanus


    1. Alexander Pope : From Preface to The Works of Shakespear
    2. Charlotte Lennox : From Shakespear Illustrated
    3. Samuel Johnson : From Preface to The Plays of William Shakespeare and Comments on Measure for Measure
    4. Elizabeth Inchbald : From Remarks on Measure for Measure
    5. William Hazlitt : From Characters of Shakespear’s Plays
    6. S. T. Coleridge : From Table Talk
      1. : From Literary Remains
    7. Frederick S. Boas : The Problem: Plays and Measure for Measure
    8. A. C. Bradley : From Shakespearean Tragedy
    9. Algernon Swinburne : From Shakespeare
    10. G. Wilson Knight : From The Wheel of Fire
    11. J. W. Lever : The Date of Measure for Measure
    12. Rosalind Miles : From The Problem of Measure for Measure
    13. Jonathan Dollimore : Transgression and Surveillance in Measure for Measure
    14. Kathleen McLuskie : From The Patriarchal Bard: Feminist Criticism and Shakespeare: King Lear and Measure for Measure
    15. Daniel Massey : The Duke in Measure for Measure
    16. Marliss C. Desens : From The Bed-Trick in English Renaissance Drama


    1. William D’Avenant : From The Law against Lovers
    2. Charles Gildon : From Measure for Measure, or, Beauty the Best Advocate
    3. Charles Marowitz : From Measure for Measure

    Selected Bibliography