Measure for Measure (1603–1604)

First official record: revels accounts for Christmas 1604–1605 state the play was performed over the holidays
First publishedFirst Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: Revels accounts for Christmas 1604–1605 indicate the play was performed at Whitehall on St. Stephen's Day 1604.
Evidence: This play is notoriously difficult to date specifically partly due to a lack of solid evidence and partly due to the theory that the text which appeared in the First Folio was not Shakespeare's original text. Obviously the play was written (in some form) prior to December 1604. The only other evidence are possible topical references within the play itself which would seem to indicate a date most likely in 1602, but this is not universally accepted by all scholars. Furthermore, there is a theory that Thomas Middleton rewrote the play after Shakespeare's death, possibly in 1621, which throws further doubt on the exact date of initial composition.

ACT I

SCENE I. An apartment in the DUKE'S palace.

 

Enter DUKE VINCENTIO, ESCALUS, Lords and Attendants

DUKE VINCENTIO

Escalus.

ESCALUS

My lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Of government the properties to unfold,
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse;
Since I am put to know that your own science
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
My strength can give you: then no more remains,
But that to your sufficiency as your Worth is able,
And let them work.
Full text of play