Angelo, Frederick Boas, Claudio discussed on Lend Me Your Ears


Welcome to lend me your ears. I'm is it Butler today we're going to be talking about measure for measure. It's a play about the law and about why we have laws and how we should go about using the law to make people more virtuous. But it's also about power and about sex and its most famous for seeing that feels chillingly relevant to us. Today. There's this woman is a ballot and her brother Claudio is condemned to die. So she's pleading for his life and the guy she's pleading with Angelo. He's running the joint. It's up to him whether Claudio lives or dies. Angelo has all the power in this situation, and here's how he responds to her request for clemency. Redeem brother by yielding up vibe, ATI to my will or else he must not only die the death, but by unkindness shall his death draw out to lingering sufferance the choices Isabella's have sex with Angelo, or her brother will be tortured to death. Measure for measure is a play. That's asking two very different questions. Ones were still struggling with today. How should the law work and what do we do about powerful men and their desire to use that power for sexual gratification? Act one, we must not make a scarecrow of the law. Measure for measure is often called a problem play. Now, that's a term that comes from the nineteenth century from a literary critic named Frederick boas and in its original usage. It meant a play that was neither straightforwardly comic nor tragic problem plays shift between tones sometimes quite wildly and the use this approach to explore social problems and moral dilemmas. And one thing these plays have in common is that every thread you tug on his tied to a paradox. They pose a problem and instead of coming anywhere close to solving him, they dive into it revealing more and more problems lurking inside. Measure for measure can be a bewildering play to read or talk about every time you think you've wrapped your head around a clear answer to how the law should work or what we can do about powerful sexually coercive. Men that answer turns to ask, it's a play. That's technically comedy. It tells the story ends in four couples getting married, but the journey takes to get there can't help disturb and provoke us. That journey goes like this..

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