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Study Course: If Power Change Purpose


This study course is based on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, a play that looks at the consequences when religious beliefs are taken to extremes. The scene is Vienna where the puritanical Count Angelo introduces the death penalty for sex outside marriage, only to be confronted by a young nun, Isabella, pleading for her brother’s life. When Angelo offers to grant her wish in return for sex, everyone’s principles are tested. In this five-part study course an introduction to Shakespeare is followed by three sessions focusing on the psychology and religious beliefs of the protagonists, using Nick Warburton’s one-hour adaptation of key scenes from the play. The final session opens up themes of rebirth and resurrection in Shakespeare’s plays. Each session includes a commentary and questions for discussion, and the course could culminate in a rehearsed reading or performance.

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