i’m mad at my thesis today, but it still has one of my accidental favorite lines i’ve ever written in it:
It is Angelo’s judgment (or misjudgment) that links his reaction to physical response, making his “sin” in this speech a kind of intellectual failure, a reverse original sin bred from incomprehension rather than knowledge.
which is the most accidentally elegant and most extreme way i’ve ever managed to configure “angelo is a fucking idiot.”
"Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
Is’t not a kind of incest to take life
From thine own sister’s shame?"
Measure for Measure (III. 1. 141 - 143)
"This will last out a night in Russia
When nights are longest there."
- Angelo, commenting on the settling of a quarrel
Measure for Measure (II. 1. 128 - 129)
"Go to your bosom; knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know"
- Isabella in Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (via kaiabrynn
lucio shows up to isabella like isabellllaaaaaaa YOUR BROTHER’S GONNA DIE BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT’S ALL WEIRD ABOUT SEX NOW and she’s like explanation pls and he’s like
The duke is very strangely gone from hence;
…Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority,
Governs Lord Angelo; a man whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense,
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
like isabellaaaaaaaaa it’s your perfect maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan
"I have spirit to do anything that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit."
Anonymous: Some M4M questions; can you talk more about your Soviet Russia idea of a setting? I'm so intrigued, how would you make it work. Would the nunnery become something else? Is the Duke Stalin? Also; what imagery would you bring out? Are there any particular stage visuals you imagine within the play?
soviet measure is not just about totalitarianism; soviet measure is about a state ideology that has seeped inside its citizens and reshaped them into little human statelets from inside out. it’s about living in a state that tells you who you are and will lie earnestly to your face about what matters, what goodness is, what is worth dying for. about legislation so terrifyingly ideologically complete that any action that isn’t about the state is about rebellion, and about how deeply human and pragmatic and non-elevated those rebellions are, just based in being a person rather than an ideology. about a book of law that requires such devotion that its upkeep becomes terrifying and religious. about the death of innocents in that system. about the people who will tell you those deaths are worthwhile because they uphold something higher, something everyone’s been conditioned to revere.
the duke isn’t stalin, at least not while alive—the duke is both cult of personality and bureaucratic incompetence. i don’t want to get too deep into aesthetic translations and “what was [x] must now become [y]” bc that gets so easily heavyhanded, i don’t wanna do one of those fucking ~vienna~ productions that dangles nazi flags from the ceiling; the play is already about believing you’re in a panopticon and about being your own iteration of the big scary book of law—but dress isabella in grey and navy orlon, she’s a komsomol; her devotion to god in the play is already the same as her devotion to the state (one of those things gave her her sexual ideology and hint: it wasn’t actually god). lucio as a stilyaga. angelo is angelo. (i.e. terrified that humanity is faithlessness to the state and thus consciously dehumanizes himself because, well, it’s easier to be state-synecdoche than to be human, innit?) brothels that look just a little like writer cafés if only because language is transgression just as much as sex. everyone is cold, all the time. everyone parrots the words of the state back at it, like one of those impossible gogol dialogues where everyone seems like they ought to be winning and is losing all the time. repetition and repetition, seeming and seeming. this will last out a night in russia, when nights were longest there.
not much needs changing.
(f’refs as to how this works: check out patrick stewart’s stalinist macbeth. like that. amazing.)