The Original Story The Duke leaves Angelo in charge of Vienna, where he quickly condemns Claudio to death for immoral behavior. Angelo offers to pardon Claudio if his sister, Isabella, sleeps with him. Isabella agrees but has Angelo’s fiance switch places with her. The Duke returns to spare Claudio, punishes Angelo, and proposes to Isabella.
Very Modern !
“M for M” is often called one of Shakespeare’s problem plays. It continues to be classified as a comedy, albeit a dark one, though its tone may defy those expectations. The play’s main themes include justice, “morality and mercy in Vienna,” and the dichotomy between corruption and purity: “some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” Mercy and virtue prevail,
While the play focuses on justice overall, the final scene illustrates that Shakespeare intended for moral justice to temper strict civil justice.
The Modern Interpretation
Behind the shiny exterior of Measured Investments is a den of depravity fuelled by a cocktail of drugs, prostitution, and most significantly power. In an effort to clean up his company, CEO Vincentio has handed over to his deputy, but Angelo’s puritanical rule is not as virtuous as he would like it to appear.
Contrasting dark scenes with explosive comedy between drunken bawds and incompetent police officers, Shakespeare’s most intricate problem play Measure for Measure explores manipulation and control. In a new setting this production gives rise to questions about morality and consent in today’s corporate world. Cambridge European theatre group brings their New Version for one Nite Only on their European Tour.