Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. It was (and continues to be) classified as comedy, but its mood defies those expectations. As a result and for a variety of reasons, some critics have labelled it as one of Shakespeare's problem plays
Problem plays (Shakespeare)
In Shakespeare studies, the term problem plays normally refers to three plays that William Shakespeare wrote between the late 1590s and the first years of the seventeenth century: All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida, although some critics would extend the term to...

. Originally published in the First Folio
First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars commonly refer to it as the First Folio....

of 1623 (where it was first labelled as a comedy), the play's first recorded performance was in 1604.

He was ever precise in promise-keeping.

Lucio, scene ii

I have on Angelo impos'd the office;Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home.

Duke Vincentio, scene iii

I hold you as a thing ensky’d and sainted.

Lucio, scene iv

A man whose bloodIs very snow-broth; one who never feelsThe wanton stings and motions of the sense.

Lucio, scene iv

He arrests him on it;And follows close the rigour of the statute,To make him an example.

Lucio, scene iv

Our doubts are traitors,And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt.

Lucio, scene iv

'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,Another thing to fall. I do not deny,The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life,May in the sworn twelve have a thief or twoGuiltier than him they try.

Angelo, scene i

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

Escalus, scene i