Want to know where Measure for Measure is set? Read on for all the details of the intriguing Viennese location, and see the setting for each scene in Measure for Measure on the map below.
Shakespeare set Measure for Measure in the Catholic city of Vienna. By the time Shakespeare’s audiences were watching his plays England had become a strict protestant country. In this play, Shakespeare wants to create an environment in which there are still nunneries, as the play has Isobel’s life as a nun as a central idea.
Like Shakespeare’s London, though, Vienna is teeming with prostitutes and pimps, and disease is rife. In the London of Shakespeare’s time buildings were being demolished to try and control the plague: In the Vienna of the play brothels are being torn down to try and stem venereal disease, and the acting Duke, Angelo, has issued a decree making sex outside of marriage an offense carrying the death penalty. The drama springs from that, making Vienna a crucial and clever choice of setting for Measure for Measure.
The map below shows all the locations Shakespeare used for Measure for Measure. You can zoom in on the map for a more detailed view of an area, and click the icons on the map for more information. Text in the more info box are the specific Vienna locations Shakespeare references in his Measure for Measure text: