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ENG220Y1 - Measure for Measure - Lecture Notes.docx

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Elizabeth Harvey

ENG220Y1 – LECTURE NOTES October 30, 2013 Measure for Measure: Genre of the "Problem" Comedy:  Sources for the narrative o Cinthio's Hecatommithi o George Whetstone's Promos Cassandra  The "problem" comedy is a tragedy that ends in marriage, deals with serious issues  A play about the dark corners of the mind  First performed for James 1 in 1604  Revised Whetstone's play; there is controversy of plagiarism, textual property was ambiguous  The question during this time was is the innovation better than the source as opposed to is it original Freud:  Many argued that Freud got his theories on psychoanalysis from reading Shakespeare  Was fascinated with the psyche  Some argue that Shakespeare was too  Reflects Freud's ideas of subconscious and unconscious  "suburb" = sub (close to, under) + urbs (city)  There is spacialization of sexuality in the play  Sexual energy is hidden but emerges in uncontrollable ways  Symmetrical struggle between the id and the ego in this play Religion:  The reformation origins; Henry became the head of the Church of England when he founded a new religion away from catholicism; owned what the church owned; had an abundant amount of money  Took over the monastery; monks were removed, took all their goods  Ordered that the people could no longer be catholic anymore  Some practiced their religion anyway, their homes had their own chapel  The title of the play came from Matthew 7:1 o polyptoton of the word "judge"  The grammar of justice o Court = judge, right, law, speaking, speaker o The play is about the sentences/punishments and the language that is used  Focuses on the subject of the sentence and the subject of the law  Instruments of justice o Prison = constrains the freedom, confine you o Hanging o Decapitation o Torture such as racking and pressing o Confession "Lesbian Rule"  Different from the linear rule  Adapts to itself to the irregular surfaces  Ancient carpenter's measure flexible enough to adapt to the surface of irregular stones  Allows one to analyze the same situation but measure the different reasons for the situation  Formed by Paula Bank  According to the Dissection of a Body, the sexual act makes you forget about the implications of the act Act One:  (1.1.1-15) o "pregnant" echoes the literal and figurative pregnancies in the play  (1.1.16-21), (1.1.27-47) o "organs" = investing Angelo with his Duke authority o "dressing our love"  Habits, nuns and Friars wear them to identify themselves as such  But wearing the habits doesn't necessarily mean that outward and inward thoughts will match o Descriptions of Angelo are given o "unfolding" = echoes the muffled three characters in the end of the play  Refers to revealing the identity  (1.2.94-103,123-134) o "with character too gross is writ on Juliet"  What marks allow one to see character in one  His character is shown on Juliet  Varies depending on how you read the markers and how to read the outer and inner habits  (1.2.105-110) o Liecense, liberty, contrasint, restraint, imprisonment o Lust cannot be curtailed o Sex ecomes like an animal, swallowing and swallowing or eating and eating and eating  (1.2.152-163) o "prone and speechless dialect"  Oxymoron, there is language being used but it's speechless  "prone" there is something beautiful about Isabella that makes her desirable, her body and voice is rhetorically persuasive; her chastity o She is articulate, has reason and logic  Doesn’t need to speak but can effectively  (1.3.19-31,39-55) o "bits and curbs" refers to horses who are associated with passion; to restrain the horse is equivalent to restraining the passions o "habit", refers to the idea that you dress in a given role and then learn how to behave according to this role after  (1.4.1-14,49-70) o Description of Angelo is given o "face" = resonates with the play  When humans stood on hide legs, all their facial features moved to the front of the face; people at the time believed that the face becomes the signifier, to recognize and identity many people; becomes the mark of the individual  Shown in the play when:  During the bed trick  When someone else's head is cut instead of Claudio  When the Duke disguises as the Friar  The face becomes important because it plays into the substitutions that happen in the play  The substitution, the obscuring the identity, hides the face Act Two:  (2.1.200-205) o Things that were problematic to the city, were located outside the city walls like nunneries and the theaters; opposite in today'society o What does it mean to outlaw all sex, how do we propagate; these questions are asked  (2.1.29-81) o See the quality of Isabella's rhetoric o "actor" = refers to the doubling of the role of the acting, who is playing the role of Angelo o The asides between Lucio and Isabella  Lucio is pimping out Isabella, teaches her how to be a woman, acts like a stage director or the role of the schoolmaster, who taught young boys speeches of the passions  (2.2.82-127) o Very important scenes  (2.2.136-164) o Condemns other based on your similar faults  (2.2.168-191) o A battle inside the soul, the psyche o It's Isabella's virtue that seduces him  (2.4.1-17) o Angelo's pregnancy  Conception of his evil plan to bribe Isabella  Wears the habit of an angel but is really a devil  Like Juliet's pregnancy, his sin is sex  Both pregnancies are shown  Scene Four o Movement of the blood to
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