Labelled as a ‘problem play’ for its marriage of comic overtones to serious moral inquiry, William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is a peerless black comedy of justice, pride and desire. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by J.M. Nosworthy with an introduction by Julia Briggs.
‘Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall’
In the Duke Vincentio’s absence from Vienna, his strict deputy Angelo revives an ancient law forbidding sex outside marriage. The young Claudio, whose fiancée Juliet is pregnant, is condemned to death by the law. His sister Isabella, soon to become a nun, pleads with Lord Angelo for her brother’s life. But her purity so excites Angelo that he offers her a monstrous bargain – he will save Claudio if Isabella will visit him that night.