Measure for Measure (1603–1604)[edit]

First official record: an entry in the Revels Account Book records a performance on 26 December 1604 of "Mesur for Mesur" by "Shaxberd."
First published: First Folio (1623).
First recorded performance: in the banqueting hall at Whitehall Palace on 26 December 1604, by the King's Men.[248]
Evidence: obviously the play was written prior to December 1604. Internal evidence in the form of topical allusions suggest a date of 1603–1604. For example, 1.1.68-73 may allude to King James' dislike of crowds, which had become apparent in June 1603.[249] Another example is found at 4.3.8 ("the old women were all dead"). This is thought to refer to the plague sweeping London, which had become a significant problem in May 1603.[250] In 1.2, Lucio discusses with two gentlemen the possibility of an imminent peace, which would deprive soldiers of their occupation, followed immediately by a reference to a "sanctimonious pirate" (1.2.1-7). This may refer to King James' attempts in the summer of 1604 to negotiate a peace treaty with Spain, which would greatly reduce the activities of pirates.[251][252] If these allusions are accurate, it would place the date of composition as somewhere between summer 1603 and late 1604. This date is supported by stylistic analysis. Both a colloquialism-in-verse test and a metrical test place Measure after Twelfth Night and Troilus, but before All's Well, and a rare word test links it most closely to All's Well.[250]