Measure for Measure

*** Continued HERE. ***


I was initiated into the unique world of Shakespeare’s poetry and plays in high school and, I believe like many people, though instantly smitten with the man and his works, meandered a while before settling on my all-time favourite piece – Hamlet.

Earlier candidates included pretty much all the other usual suspects at one point or another; but particularly so, Romeo and Juliet (of course), Macbeth, Richard II, Richard III, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, the “battle of the sexes” comedies (The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost), Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, as well as some of the sonnets.

When precisely the realisation hit home with me what a truly unique piece of writing Hamlet is, I can no longer even tell. All I know is that it was a gradual process: for a long time I was intimidated by the play’s sheer length; as well as its gutwrenching atmosphere, its – apparent – utter hopelessness, and its uncharitable stance towards its two female characters. Yet, eventually the play’s unique power got through to me and firmly took hold of my brain, unmix’d with baser matter.

But of course the Bard left us much more than this one piece, great though it may be. Therefore,  here my focus is on his literary and theatrical legacy as a whole – to the extent this is possible within the confines of a blog like this one in the first place.

   Globe Theatre, London: outside, stage and stalls, and stage roof and balcony
(photos mine)


Quick Info / The Basics: Author Page
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Bibliography
  • Quotes
  • Links


Shakespeare’ Life
  • Detailed, Illustrated Biography
  • The Authorship Debate
  • Portraits of Shakespeare

[To be completed.]


One-page editions of Shakespeare’s sonnets and of Hamlet (photo: mine)

Shakespeare’s Works
… on the Page

The 1623 First Folio, with a portrait of William Shakespeare ascribed to Martin Droeshout


… and on Stage and Screen Globe Theatre, October 2012: Director Dominic Dromgoole (right) and the cast of that year’s production of Twelfth Night – including Mark Rylance as Olivia (at the right end of the cast lineup) and Stephen Fry as Malvolio (yellow garters! centre / left, below the balcony) – take standing ovations at the end of the season’s very last performance. (photo: mine)


Literature About Shakespeare

[To be completed.]


Shakespeare’s Legacy … and a bit of fun



8 thoughts on “Measure for Measure

  1. Manuel Antao says:

    Wondrous library (*salivating* no. sorry *drooling*). Incidently, I agree with you. we also turn into Hamlet. I loved the way you put it: “unmix’d with baser matter.”. quite. We’re the based matter. The rest are dreams…

    NB: I also have the Ackroyd biography. The one about “Renaissance Drama”: I can’t discern the title…

    Liked by 2 people

    • ThemisAthena says:

      Err — the Ackroyd bio is the one on Shakespeare? (“Renaissance Drama” is an anthology of plays …)

      The intro is the one from my currently-off-line Hamlet website, incidentally. I’m planning to eventually copy my Shakespeare biography page from that site, and also a few other pages (recommended reading, and such) over to this blog. And once I’ve done building the basics of this blog, I’m going to resurrect “Project Hamlet” …


    • ThemisAthena says:

      Thank you! I used to have a whole website just dedicated to Hamlet … always meant to reincarnate it on WP, but so far haven’t gotten around to it, as you can see. Part of the text on this page is taken from one of the pages there, though.

      Which one of Shakespeare’s plays are you thinking about reading next … any idea? Do you have the opportunity to see them performed on stage anywhere?


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