Tactics of Power in Measure for Measure
Keywords:Measure for Measure, Power, Sexuality, Ideology.
AbstractIn Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, sexuality is of primary concern, which predicts characters’ behaviors, and drives the narrative progression. The play seems to be inquiring into the central question as to whether power, in particular, state power, can keep a tight rein of sexuality. This article explores into the functions of sexuality in the narrative, and the play’s self-contradictory conclusions about female and male sexuality. It argues that the play’s self-contradictory conclusion about male sexuality and female sexuality manifests the operation of different discourses on sexuality, with the first one predominantly a quasi-scientific discourse, and the latter one, still a medieval conception of sexuality grounded on religious discourse. The difference, however, manifests the transition from a medieval ideology to a nascent capitalism ideology in the discourse of sexuality.
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