How "Measure for Measure" Should Have Ended

After I did my "How Much Ado About Nothing Should Have Ended" comic, I stopped to think about what other severely problematic endings there are in Shakespeare's canon. It turns out (unsurprisingly) that there's a lot of them! Here's how I'd fix Measure for Measure's ending:

Poor Isabella has SUCH a rough time, and is given such a rough time by everybody for prioritizing her religious convictions (i.e. not agreeing to sleep with Angelo) over the life of her brother. And then what happens at the end? The duke is all "EVERYTHING IS SETTLED, YOU'LL MARRY ME NOW, IT'S ALL GOOD".

To be fair, he leaves the question marginally more open than that, but he is the DUKE, and it's super-hard to say "no" to a Duke. Her response to his proposition is deafening silence, and how she actually reacts is up to interpretation. 

"Burn in all down" is just my interpretation...

Upcoming Appearances

September 6: Stratford Festival Forum - Willy Shakes: Fanboy

WHO: Me! And also Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery of the Kill Shakespeare comic book series.
WHAT: Panel discussion on Shakespeare in pop culture and graphic novels. Part of the Stratford Festival Forum series of events. 
WHEN: Wednesday, September 6, 10:45am
WHERE: Chalmers Lounge, Avon Theatre, Stratford, Ontario.
WHY: Because they asked me! 
HOW: Buy tickets at the Stratford Festival website

The Birth of Merlin (in 3 Panels)

One final Apocrypha for the time being. This one sounds particularly fun, if you ask me.

Action packed with lots of magic and comedy and hijinks! The Birth of Merlin was originally printed attributing it to Shakespeare and William Rowley, but most people agree it was written by Rowley alone, or possibly with another collaborator who was definitely not Shakespeare. It still sounds like a lot of fun, though. 

There are more apocrypha to tackle in the future, but that's it for the moment!

Thomas of Woodstock (in 3 Panels)

I'm particularly intrigued by today's Shakespeare Apocrypha play, Thomas of Woodstock, as it is, essentially, a prequel to Richard II

Richard II picks up almost immediately after Thomas of Woodstock, with people arguing over who murdered him. When I saw Breath of Kings, which condensed Richard II, Henry IV  parts 1 and 2, and Henry V into two plays, at the Stratford Festival last season, they actually opened with the murder of Thomas from Thomas of Woodstock, which I thought was a nice way to try and fill in the backstory of Richard II a bit.

Thomas of Woodstock exists only as an incomplete, anonymous manuscript. Many people have tried to argue that Shakespeare wrote it, but, as with the other apocrypha, there is no evidence and no scholarly consensus to back up that claim. 

Arden of Faversham (in 3 Panels)

Let's continue our journey through Shakespeare's Apocrypha, with a play that SOUNDS like it should be a rogue Jane Austen novel, but absolutely isn't.

Arden of Faversham was actually based upon the real-life murder of Thomas Arden, which caused quite a stir at the time. I haven't read it, but the synopsis makes it sound unintentionally hilarious, with Alice reruiting what seem to be a dozen different people to murder her husband, none of whom actually manage to do so until the very end. 

The author or authors of Arden remain unknown. The play was published anonymously, and subsequent generations of scholars have cycled through all the likely suspects: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Kyd, and others. It's possible Shakespeare contributed some material to it, but there doesn't seem to be any overriding consensus on the matter. 

Upcoming Appearances

I'm giving the opening address at the Utah Shakespeare Festival Wooden O Symposium! Here are all the fun details:

WHO: Me!
WHAT: Opening address at USF's cross-disciplinary Shakespeare conference! I'll be talking about Good Tickle Brain, comics, and Shakespeare! 
WHEN: Monday, August 7, 5:00pm
WHERE: Movie Theatre, Sharwan Smith Student Center, Cedar City, Utah
WHY: Because they asked me!
HOW: My talk is free and open to the public! Just show up!

A Yorkshire Tragedy (in 3 Panels)

Let's get back to Shakespeare's Apocrypha, a.k.a. plays that have, at some point in time, been attributed to Shakespeare but either have not survived or are generally agreed to have been written mostly or entirely by people who were definitely not Shakespeare! Today's installment is the extremely problematic Yorkshire Tragedy

This rather hideous play was originally registered and printed with Shakespeare listed as the author, but general consensus today is that it was actually written by Thomas Middleton. It sounds like a terrible evening at the theatre, if you ask me. Shakespeare is well out of this one. 

Upcoming Appearances

I'm giving the opening address at the Utah Shakespeare Festival Wooden O Symposium! Here are all the fun details:

WHO: Me!
WHAT: Opening address at USF's cross-disciplinary Shakespeare conference! I'll be talking about Good Tickle Brain, comics, and Shakespeare! 
WHEN: Monday, August 7, 5:00pm
WHERE: Movie Theatre, Sharwan Smith Student Center, Cedar City, Utah
WHY: Because they asked me!
HOW: My talk is free and open to the public! Just show up!

How "Much Ado About Nothing" Should Have Ended

I've got a couple busy weeks ahead of me - my annual trip to the Ohio Light Opera, followed by my VERY EXCITING TALK at the Utah Shakespeare Festival's Wooden O Symposium - so as a small filler today I've taken one of my favorite early, pre-Good Tickle Brain cartoons and revised it it a bit:

You can see the original version (and see how my art style has "evolved") over here

Upcoming Appearances

I'm giving the opening address at the Utah Shakespeare Festival Wooden O Symposium! Here are all the fun details:

WHO: Me!
WHAT: Opening address at USF's cross-disciplinary Shakespeare conference! I'll be talking about Good Tickle Brain, comics, and Shakespeare! 
WHEN: Monday, August 7, 5:00pm
WHERE: Movie Theatre, Sharwan Smith Student Center, Cedar City, Utah
WHY: Because they asked me!
HOW: My talk is free and open to the public! Just show up!