Friday, November 18, 2016

Stella's Annotated Bibliography (2)

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Working Title: Misunderstanding the Malefactor: Understanding Angelo's Complex Duality. My working thesis, as in this is pretty rudimentary, but here it be: In Shakespeare's Measure for Measure Angelo is typically perceived as an unadulterated villain who hypocritically propositions Isabella to fornicate with him in exchange for her brother's life, yet Angelo's actions can be paradoxically understood as his desperate need to create a symbolic union with Isabella's purity and innocence, as she represents that which he yearns to legally establish.

Scholarly Sources:

Mikkelsen, Robert S. "To Catch a Saint: Angelo in Measure for Measure." Western Humanities Review, vol. 12, 1958., pp. 261. <>

Mikkelsen interprets Angelo's character psychologically, ethically, and dramatically in an effort to justify the widely disputed ending in which Angelo receives forgiveness following all his hypocritical behaviors throughout the play.
This source will be a valuable addition in my paper, as Mikkelsen dissects Angelo's character through various lenses, so that he may demonstrate how Angelo's character is more complicated and deserving of the forgiveness he receives in the end of the play than critics are initially prone to believe.

Magedanz, Stacy. "Public Justice and Private Mercy in Measure for Measure." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 44, no. 2, 2004., pp. 317-332. <>

Magedanz analyzes the religious implications of society's sexual proclivities in Shakespeare's Vienna, as it begins to tear at the family and thus tear apart the social threads holding the material of society together.
This is an interesting analysis as it suggests that there is a certain need for the justice that Angelo exacts, although he seems to exact this order too abruptly. It calls into question the balance that is needed regarding moral law within political society.

Miles, Rosalind. "Angelo and Isabella." The Problem of 'Measure for Measure.' London: Vision, 1976. 197-229. Print.

Rosalind interestingly argues that it is Angelo's very nature, his "gravity, austerity, and self-restraint," which cause him to fall when he meets Isabella and encounters emotions and passions, which he is unfamiliar with.
These emotions and passions illustrate that justice does not exist in perfection with the nuances of emotion, which man experiences. I love what Rosalind states throughout her article, as it provides me with a springboard for the importance of interpreting Angelo this way throughout the play-gives the play's ending more meaning.

Widmayer, Martha. ""To Sin in Loving Virtue": Angelo of Measure for Measure." Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 49, no. 2, 2007., pp. 155-180. <>

Widmayer does not seek to exonerate Angelo in her article, yet she does point out that if we are to scrutinize the hypocrisy of Angelo's character then we need to do the same for every other character within Measure for Measure, as they are all guilty of hypocritical behavior.
Like Widmayer, I am not seeking to exonerate Angelo, as he is clearly not a moral being, yet I'm trying to illustrate that he is more complicated and dimensional than the villain label allows him to be. Widmayer carefully shows how Angelo conducted himself and his legal affairs sincerely until he met Isabella, yet I would continue to argue that even upon meeting Isabella he was simply vying for that which he was legally seeking to establish, a sense of morality that only Isabella represented.

Social Sources:

[Expert] Though I have not spoken with Robert Means yet I plan on discussing my thesis with him. Robert Means if of course the humanities luminary within the library and I'm hoping that he can direct me to more sources that help with my research. It will also be a helpful tool to simply discuss the nature of my paper and ask for feedback. I'll edit my post after I discuss this with Mr. Means.


1 comment:

  1. Getting your social sources done is hard, I totally get you. But your scholarly sources look great! What database did you use to find them? JSTOR of the World Shakespeare Bib.?