By T. F. Wharton (auth.)
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Extra resources for Measure for Measure
Cynthia Lewis ( 1983) expresses a very rare view in finding him 'progressively engaged' during the course of the action. So pronounced is this characteristic that David Lloyd Stevenson (1966) expresses some relief at the Duke's failings, since these at least humanise him. S. Spinrad's (1984), that he is a typical official, wanting to be loved in office: hence his delegation of an unpleasant and unpopular job to Angelo. Again, this touch of vanity is THEME AND CHARACTER 47 echoed in modern productions: for instance in the 1983 Royal Shakespeare Company version, which gave the Duke a gigantic mirror to pose in.
Again, productions tend to stress this aspect of the play, by using various obvious symbols of power, such as in the Belgian National Theatre production in 1981 with its huge thrones. Terrell Tebbetts (1985) agrees, seeing Vincentio's sudden imposition of the old laws, through Angelo, as an artificial act, designed to promote himself, finally, as a kind of 'saviour of the people from the law'. Leonard Tennenhouse, working on the parallel of King James's own patriarchal tamperings with his state, likewise argues ( 1982) that all Vincentia's ploys serve only to reaffirm the ruler's power.
Lever (1965) remarks, Angelo's recognition that death is his just desert 'removes the irony of his declaration to Escalus: THEME AND CHARACTER 41 When I that censure him do so offend, Let mine own judgement pattern out my death, And nothing come in partial. 29-31] The sense of a pattern of just desert is very symmetrical in this respect. R. l36-9] apply not only to Angelo recognising guilt like Claudio's but to our need to recognise the faults of Angelo in us. If this is so, there is no actual obstruction in Angelo's own character against fitting him into an allegorical scheme such as Roy Battenhouse's.