Measure for Measure Context

  • Created by: lwilson23
  • Created on: 24-01-19 18:54

Measure for Measure Context

- classed as a problem play as it doesn't fit into the other categories of comedy, tragedy, historical or romantic plays. 

- written in 1604 (during the reign of King James I) the play is set firmly in the Jacobean period and is therefore reflective of traditional Jacobean values: 

  • very strict gender roles led to the continuation of patriarchy from Elizabethan times - women often had no choice in decisions such as marriage etc. 
  • society was also extremely puritanical due to the PROTESTANT religious beliefs of the monarch James I, sex was a taboo topic - the play would have shocked audiences. 
  • references to venereal disease (such as syphilis) at the start of the play would have been relevant to the audiences as it was rife at the time of its performance. 
  • fornication was seen as a great sin. 
  • the tearing down of brothels alluded to by Pompey did actually happen to stop plague in 1604. 
  • sex before marriage was seen as a sin which would 'brand' the woman involved for life and prevent her from ever marrying - explains Isabella's reluctance. 
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