'How I have ever loved the life removed': re-interpreting the convention of disguise in Shakespeare's measure for measure


  • Inga Dale Kazimierz Pulaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom
  • James Dale Kazimierz Pulaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom




Shakespeare, disguise, New Historicism, self-fashioning, early modern subjectivity, role-playing


The paper focuses on the design of Duke Vincentio from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, interpreted as a highly ambiguous example of the traditional 'ruler in disguise,' set within New Historicism's methodological framework and the theory of Renaissance self-fashioning proposed by Stephen Greenblatt. Although not a treatise on disguise theory, Greenblatt's Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1980) develops analyses appearing highly relevant to the study of disguise in the early modern social and literary context. This is due to the key significance of disguise in his reading of Renaissance culture, typified by, argues Greenblatt, the predominance of rhetoric and ever-present theatricality. Applying Greenblatt's analyses to Shakespeare's Duke, I will show how self-fashioning governs the character's self-identity, resulting in an emergence of behaviours into the character's discourse, indicating a great psychological conflict. 


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How to Cite

Dale, I., & Dale, J. (2021). ’How I have ever loved the life removed’: re-interpreting the convention of disguise in Shakespeare’s measure for measure. Radomskie Studia Filologiczne. Radom Philological Studies, 1(10), 9–28. https://doi.org/10.24136/rsf.2021.001