books, Reviews

The Reviewing Reel: Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

I’m hoping that 2018 will be the year that I’ll review all of the books I read – both here, and on Goodreads. I don’t know if I’ll keep it up, but I think this is a good enough start. Expect a lot of book reviews this year!


Measure for Measure is one of the books for my English Literature A-level course, so I’ve already read this play a few times through already. It follows the story of Isabella, a pious young girl who wishes to join a convent. When her brother, Claudio, gets his fiancee pregnant out of wedlock, she is given an ultimatum by Angelo – either to give him her virginity, and her freedom with it, or to let her brother be executed.

It’s a really interesting play, although I’m maybe only saying that because I’ve studied it so thoroughly. However, having looked at all the context of the time, and being a little bit of a Shakespeare mega-nerd myself, I can safely say that this is one of my favourite plays by him.

The play mainly centres around themes of balance and morality, and although Measure is supposed to be one of Shakespeare’s comedies, in actuality it is a lot more complicated and multi-faceted than that.

A lot of people are reluctant to read Shakespeare, which I think is understandable because, at the end of the day, plays are written to be performed, not read. However, it is really interesting to read plays, mostly just to see the stage directions.

I’m really lucky in that my grandparents are taking me and my sister to see Twelfth Night at RSC in Stratford upon Avon next month, so I’m hoping to try the direct comparison – reading the play, then watching it be performed. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Ellie x

P.S. the photo is from the 2015 production of Measure for Measure at the Globe in London 🙂 

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