"Measure for Measure and the Gospels" by G. Wilson Knight …
Measure for Measure
and the Gospels" by G. Wilson Knight
Matthew 6:12 "Forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors"
Play is gospel in itself.
In play: "Heaven doth with us as we with torches." - Duke/torch metaphor --> Parallels to Matthew 5:14: "men light a candle...and it giveth light to all those in the house."
Knight argues Angelo does not "know himself."
Angelo pursues lust without any sense of wrongdoing. = irony
Matthew: "Thou shall not commit adultery...whoever looks on a woman with lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Knight argues that the Duke becomes the embodiment of the Bard himself in that he directs the plot and plan of the play.
Compares the Duke to Jesus Christ, "prophet of the new order of ethics.":
Duke = Jesus-like in his treatment of Claudio since he focuses on his life and salvation rather than his death.
"Seeking death, find life.; let it come on." (
Lucio says, "Your brother his lover has embraced." - He urges Isabella to come to her brother's defense.
He argues, therefore, that Isabella does NOT care about her brother; she only cares about her sanctity.
She even prays for her brother's death!
He contends that chastity is neither a sin nor a virtue. This starkly contrasts with Baines's argument that Isabella's chastity is her power.
Humanity is ultimately revealed
"Human virtue does not flower in only high places..."
"The Duke has no delusions in the virtues of man."
Marriages at end are purposeful: "men restored to proper level."
Isabella is concerned merely with HER OWN chastity--not chastity in general. After all, she is fine with Mariana giving up her body to Angelo...
1 more item...
Focuses on Angelo's hypocrisy --> arrogant, prideful.
Angelo to Escalus: "'Tis one thing to be tempted, another to fall."
His sudden throwing into authority = reason
Angelo does not know himself, for "temptation overthrows his virtue."
Angelo's falling for Isabella comes from her purity; thus, he rationalizes that being tempted by her is not that bad...
Good and evil are flipped...
Lucio exists because of the society of self-deception.
Everyone is forgiven except Lucio for he is not truly sorry...
Tillyard argues the opposite: "Lucio is the lightest figure...who keeps the play from falling apart" and he almost "eludes control."