Humanity does not gradually progress from combat to combat until it arrives at universal reciprocity, where the rule of law finally replaces warfare; humanity installs each of its violences in a system of rules and thus proceeds from domination to domination” (Foucault, 1984).
Measure for Measure with Romola Garai
Premieres Friday, October 19 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
Streams Saturday, October 20 at pbs.org/shakespeareuncovered and on PBS apps
Measure for Measure takes an astonishingly timely look at sexual morality, hypocrisy and harassment. Shakespeare asks us to “measure” the price of liberty against the moral and social cost of libertinism. It’s a play about vice, the law and sexual corruption at the highest levels and, for nearly two centuries, it was considered too racy to be produced on the English stage. Garai explains why there is no light-hearted happy ending in this play, but something much darker and more complex — truly a sexual tale for our time.
Durer, c. 1526:
“In sooth I know not why I am so sad”
“In Belmont is a lady richly left”
“If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife / Become a Christian and thy loving wife”
“The villany you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction”
“The Duke shall grant me justice”