she is definitely Snakes

My anaconda don’t
My anaconda don’t
My anaconda don’t
Want none unless you’re a nun, hun.

Angelo, from Measure for Measure
Q: So, weird question, feel free to ignore: is it feasible to draw comparisons between Isabella/Angelo and Thomasina/Septimus, and if so, how? Because I love them both dearly, as you do, (or, let's be real, not QUITE as you do, but I do love them), and I feel like they are related but still very, very different in ways that I can't articulate. (One way that I know for sure that they are NOT different: they are super hot. This hardly qualifies as in depth analysis, though.)

ha ha “you only secretly (not altogether secretly) love one thing, parse it out through these two superficially 100% dissimilar things” is my favorite game, thank you for this gift

—and, really, Thomasina/Septimus is about as far removed from the Measure model as I get! I think in large part because they are both a thousand times more self-actualized than I/A, even Thomasina at age thirteen. On one hand, that’s because they don’t live in a terrifying moral dystopia that’s lost to all maps. On the other hand, get a grip, Isabella and Angelo

but I can still retrace my steps in waltz time and end up in Vienna, Italy, because I am THE BEST AT THIS GAME. (Game being: my own predictable predispositions.)

So in both—

  1. Dude is smart. Dude is smart enough to float on a superiority cloud, touching the world only where and when and how he chooses, without risk to himself. Until:
  2. Lady is smarter. Lady is meteorically smarter, sees-into-the-heart-of-the-universe carries-it-in-her-mouth smarter.
  3. Dude is smart enough to speak her language, which is a language she doesn’t think of as separate but everyone around her realizes, and comments (with a certain degree of awe and/or fear), is not mortal intellectual English.
  4. They end up with a ship idiolect, a language that’s unique to them and only them within the bounds of the play. It’s just also math in Arcadia—but it’s math that belongs wholly to them, math a hundred years in advance done so Thomasina can show him the world’s brighter and both more sensible and more complex than he thinks. That it has room for nuance
  5. HA HA WRITING IN ROOM FOR NOT-PREEXISTING NUANCE IS ANOTHER COMMONALITY; IN ARCADIA IT’S “HERE HAVE NEW MATH NOW YOU SHOULD DANCE WITH ME CONSENSUALLY EVEN THOUGH I AM SIXTEEN” in Measure they get about as far as “what if—” into questioning sexual morality before they both NOPE into the atmosphere, because it is illegal and also because they are off the planet nuts. Again, T/S is miles better adjusted and one of them starts at age thirteen and the other is HERMIT LORD BYRON. Oh my GOD I/A GO TO THE SPA
  6. (In both cases, the ship would have been empirically better off if they could just HAVE SEX. Blow out the candle, Septimus.)
  7. In both cases, with the dude, the revelatory contact with the girlmind(body)(soul)(GIRL) that shows him up cracks him in half. And yeah, man, that’s the shit I like.


Dulaang UP's concurrent productions of Measure for Measure and its Filipino translation, Hakbang sa Hakbang. (Photos: Jojit Lorenzo)

Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not.

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
  1. measure for measure, or: this could be us but you playin god

More than our brother is our chastity.


My absolute FAVORITE “Measure for Measure” picture.  I only know that it’s titled “The Hand That Hath Made You Fair…”.  It was part of a Shakespeare calendar that I had *geez… fifteen?  sixteen? seventeen? holy crap…* years ago.  I cut it out, laminated and framed it.  If anyone knows the artist or any other information, please let me know!

The creepy menace the Duke exudes… brrr!  I love it!  And the way Isabella’s just looking at you- not quite pleading or screaming internally just yet, but knowing something is very, very wrong…


like, there is reconfiguring the language of the divine to fit your own desire, and there is reshaping the language of your desire to fit your own idea of aspirational holiness

spoiler: both of these are measure for measure

messed up about this picture of ii.iv (goodman theatre’s measure for measure, 2013). them on the same couch her in convulsion him looking away the amount of space between them while they are on the same couch im die

this is why you don’t have to, why you shouldn’t, direct ii.iv as a physical scene. everything he does to her—and that she attempts to do to him, the power she threatens that he returns and brings down in full, he brings down (and she a breath before just tried to bring down) at a distance as a kind of drawing back. they’re so close they choose to inhabit the same space they’re not visibly drawing apart but look how distant they are. look at the careful looking away look at how internal he is look at how constructed he is look


A selection from Shakespeares after Shakespeare