What: Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
Where: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
Who: The Royal Shakespeare Company
When: July 2019
“The poetic atmosphere is one of religion and critical morality. The religious colouring is orthodox, as in Hamlet.”
“There have, however, been others, notably in the last century, such unlikely yoke-fellows as Gervinus in Germany and Walter Pater in England who have seen the play neither as expressive of cynicism and disgust nor as filled with the spirit of the Gospels and yet believe it to be no ‘meaningless’ entertainment but serious and coherent exploration of certain moral issues. It is in support of this view that the following pages are written”.
I have two touchstones, benchmarks if you will, when it comes to Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” and the above quotations are examples of their understanding of the play and the differences between those understandings. Gregory Doran’s production of the play in Stratford-Upon-Avon may have become a third.