Measure for Measure: Tragedy and Redemption

<em>Measure for Measure:</em> Tragedy and Redemption
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Measure for Measure: Tragedy and Redemption

Author Paul Toscano

For most people, the word "tragedy" is synonymous with pessimism and despair, yet in theatre and drama it includes such optimistic themes as faith, hope, resolution, and regeneration. Critics have often objected to the idea of redemptive tragedy, arguing that redemption is a Christian doctrine, turning all evil to good and thus all tragedy to comedy. The author asserts that the belief of the Christian hero that his sufferings will end in heaven does not lessen this tragic experience and that tragedy and religion are not incompatible. He analyzes Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" from this viewpoint, concluding that the play is a tragedy within a divine comic structure, showing a greater vision: the kingdom of evil exists, controlled and limited, within a larger kingdom of good.

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