Bennett, Josephine Waters. “Measure for Measure” as Royal Entertainment. New York: Columbia University Press, 1966. A comprehensive discussion of the play, centering on the way it would have appeared to contemporary audiences. The author rejects earlier criticisms of the work as “dark comedy,” and considers instead that in its historical context, it would have been viewed as high entertainment.
Lloyd Evans, Gareth. The Upstart Crow: An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Plays. London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1982. A comprehensive discussion of Shakespeare’s dramatic works, including information on the plays’ critical reviews and sources, as well as on the circumstances surrounding their gestation.
Muir, Kenneth, ed. Shakespeare—The Comedies: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1965. An anthology of essays that discuss Shakespeare’s comedies from various points of view. The essay on Measure for Measure, by R. W. Chambers, emphasizes the violence in the play and its importance in furthering the plot.
Shakespeare, William. Measure for Measure. Edited by J. W. Lever. London: Methuen, 1965. In addition to the text of the play, this edition contains more than ninety pages of introductory material about the sources and a critical evaluation of the work. Also includes appendices with the original texts of Shakespeare’s sources.
Wheeler, Richard P. Shakespeare’s Development and the Problem Comedies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981. Discusses two of Shakespeare’s comedies, All’s Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure. These two works are considered problem comedies because they do not fit the usual mold of Elizabethan comedy.