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By Harold Bloom, Janyce Marson

Introducing the Harold Bloom Shakespeare versions from Riverhead

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Extra info for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages)

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Theseus’s next speech reveals that Hippolyta is more than just his fiancée; she is a spoil of war. ” In all its manifestations in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love exists inside conflict and struggle as a desire to command, as well as within a context of mutual attraction, accord, and affection. QQQ Act I, i, 22-64 Egeus: Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia. Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord, This man hath my consent to marry her. Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke, This man hath bewitch’d the bosom of my child; Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, And interchanged love-tokens with my child: Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung, With feigning voice verses of feigning love, And stolen the impression of her fantasy Key Passages in A Midsummer Night’s Dream 19 With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits, Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers Of strong prevailment in unharden’d youth: With cunning hast thou filch’d my daughter’s heart, Turn’d her obedience, which is due to me, To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke, Be it so she will not here before your grace Consent to marry with Demetrius, I beg the ancient privilege of Athens, As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death, according to our law Immediately provided in that case.

The problem confronting the actors in this passage is twofold: It concerns both the proper limits of dramatic imitation and representation and the manner in which dramatic representation can be convincingly accomplished. ” They worry about showing a drawn sword and a frightening lion. Bottom suggests that the solution is to diminish the force of illusion through a spoken prologue and by having the lion only half-masked, allowing Snug’s human face to partially appear, and for Snug in the role of the lion to identify himself as Snug.

Theseus: Rather your eyes must with his judgment look. Hermia: I do entreat your grace to pardon me. I know not by what power I am made bold, Nor how it may concern my modesty, In such a presence here to plead my thoughts; But I beseech your grace that I may know The worst that may befall me in this case, If I refuse to wed Demetrius. Theseus has no sooner spoken of “pomp . . triumph, and . . reveling” than Egeus enters and, bringing a conflict for Theseus to adjudicate, seems to 20 A Midsummer Night’s Dream shift the tone and direction of the play radically.

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