‘Measure for Measure’ and the quest to overcome sexual tyranny

18 April 2018 - 18:00

Shakespeare Week lecture by Eric Nicholson

 

One of Shakespeare's last and most complex comedies, ‘Measure for Measure’ is often labelled a ‘problem play’.   This talk will propose that the problem, however, lies not in the script, but with male critics who have had trouble recognising how the play puts on stage—and to a certain extent on trial—various sexually abusive hypocrisies, coercions, and self-contradictions of patriarchal government.  As both the play's words and actions express, such abuses can  enforce a tyranny, where an outwardly honest judge and governor can remind the victim of his harassment that ‘my false o’erweighs your true’.  Eric Nicholson teaches in Florence at NYU and Syracuse.

 

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