CHANGING MEASURE FOR MEASURE—ELIMINATING CLAUDIO’S SPEECH. I posted here about how “there are a lot of people who are uncomfortable with an overt shifting of gears from serious to comic” in Measure for Measure. I wrote about how Claudio at the blackest moment of the play, when he faces a tragic choice between his sisterâ€™s honor and his own death, says: “Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;/ To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot; / This sensible warm motion to become/ A kneaded clodâ€¦.â€ And then the gears shift to bring about a comedy ending.
I was talking to my brother Elmer about how we were going to see Measure for Measure at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and he mentioned that he had seen a production of the play which had made the play entirely a comedy. One method of accomplishing this was to eliminate Claudio’s speech.