Lysander (A Midsummer Night's Dream) - Wikipedia
Speeches (Lines) for Hermia in "Midsummer Night's Dream" O hell! to choose love by another's eyes. 9 What love could press Lysander from my side? Poem of the week: From A Midsummer Night's Dream. An honorary Hermia's wedding to her real love, Lysander, will go ahead. Egeus is not. A Midsummer Nights Dream - Hermia And Helenas Relationship Essay This had lasted all their lives until the intervention of Lysander and Demetrius.
Gildon thought that Shakespeare drew inspiration from the works of Ovid and Virgiland that he could read them in the original Latin and not in later translations. He felt the depiction of the supernatural was among Shakespeare's strengths, not weaknesses. He especially praised the poetry and wit of the fairies, and the quality of the verse involved.
He felt that the poetry, the characterisation, and the originality of the play were its strengths, but that its major weaknesses were a "puerile" plot and that it consists of an odd mixture of incidents. The connection of the incidents to each other seemed rather forced to Gentleman. He found that the "more exalted characters" the aristocrats of Athens are subservient to the interests of those beneath them. In other words, the lower-class characters play larger roles than their betters and overshadow them.
He found this to be a grave error of the writer.
Malone thought that this play had to be an early and immature work of Shakespeare and, by implication, that an older writer would know better. Malone's main argument seems to derive from the classism of his era. He assumes that the aristocrats had to receive more attention in the narrative and to be more important, more distinguished, and better than the lower class.
According to Kehler, significant 19th-century criticism began in with August Wilhelm Schlegel. Schlegel perceived unity in the multiple plot lines. He noted that the donkey's head is not a random transformation, but reflects Bottom's true nature. He identified the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe as a burlesque of the Athenian lovers. He found the work to be "a delightful fiction"  but when staged, it is reduced to a dull pantomime.
He concluded that poetry and the stage do not fit together. She notes that prior to the s, all stage productions of this play were adaptations unfaithful to the original text. The first was that the entire play should be seen as a dream. Second, that Helena is guilty of "ungrateful treachery" to Hermia. He thought that this was a reflection of the lack of principles in women, who are more likely to follow their own passions and inclinations than men.
Women, in his view, feel less abhorrence for moral evilthough they are concerned with its outward consequences. Coleridge was probably the earliest critic to introduce gender issues to the analysis of this play. Kehler dismisses his views on Helena as indications of Coleridge's own misogynyrather than genuine reflections of Helena's morality.
He turned his attention to Theseus' speech about "the lunatic, the lover, and the poet" [a] and to Hippolyta's response to it. He regarded Theseus as the voice of Shakespeare himself and the speech as a call for imaginative audiences.
He also viewed Bottom as a lucky man on whom Fortune showered favours beyond measure. He was particularly amused by the way Bottom reacts to the love of the fairy queen: Maginn argued that "Theseus would have bent in reverent awe before Titania.
Bottom treats her as carelessly as if she were the wench of the next-door tapster. He viewed Oberon as angry with the "caprices"  of his queen, but unable to anticipate that her charmed affections would be reserved for a weaver with a donkey's head.
In his view, Shakespeare implied that human life is nothing but a dream, suggesting influence from Plato and his followers who thought human reality is deprived of all genuine existence.
Ulrici noted the way Theseus and Hippolyta behave here, like ordinary people. He agreed with Malone that this did not fit their stations in life, but viewed this behaviour as an indication of parody about class differences. He thought that this play indicated Shakespeare's maturity as a playwright, and that its "Thesean harmony"  reflects proper decorum of character.
He also viewed Bottom as the best-drawn character, with his self-confidence, authority, and self-love. He argued that Bottom stands as a representative of the whole human race. Like Hazlitt he felt that the work is best appreciated when read as a text, rather than acted on stage. He found the writing to be "subtle and ethereal", and standing above literary criticism and its reductive reasoning. He denied the theory that this play should be seen as a dream.
He argued that it should be seen as an ethical construct and an allegory. He thought that it was an allegorical depiction of the errors of sensual love, which is likened to a dream. In his view, Hermia lacks in filial obedience and acts as if devoid of conscience when she runs away with Lysander. Lysander is also guilty for disobeying and mocking his prospective father-in-law. Pyramus and Thisbe also lack in filial obedience, since they "woo by moonlight"  behind their parents' backs.
The fairies, in his view, should be seen as "personified dream gods". Not in Atticabut in the Indies. His views on the Indies seem to Kehler to be influenced by Orientalism. He speaks of the Indies as scented with the aroma of flowers and as the place where mortals live in the state of a half-dream. Gervinus denies and devalues the loyalty of Titania to her friend.
He views this supposed friendship as not grounded in spiritual association. Titania merely "delight in her beauty, her 'swimming gait,' and her powers of imitation". In her resentment, Titania seeks separation from him, which Gervinus blames her for. He described them as homely creatures with "hard hands and thick heads". They are not real artists. Gervinus reserves his praise and respect only for Theseus, who he thinks represents the intellectual man.
Like several of his predecessors, Gervinus thought that this work should be read as a text and not acted on stage. InCharles Cowden Clarke also wrote on this play. Kehler notes he was the husband of famous Shakespearean scholar Mary Cowden Clarke. Charles was more appreciative of the lower-class mechanicals of the play. He commented favourably on their individualisation and their collective richness of character. He thought that Bottom was conceited but good natured, and shows a considerable store of imagination in his interaction with the representatives of the fairy world.
He also argued that Bottom's conceit was a quality inseparable from his secondary profession, that of an actor. Hudson, an American clergyman and editor of Shakespeare, also wrote comments on this play. Kehler pays little attention to his writings, as they were largely derivative of previous works. She notes, however, that Hudson too believed that the play should be viewed as a dream. He cited the lightness of the characterisation as supporting of his view. He also argued that Theseus was one of the "heroic men of action"  so central to Shakespeare's theatrical works.
Clapp and Horace Howard Furness were both more concerned with the problem of the play's duration, though they held opposing views. He also viewed the play as representing three phases or movements.
Poem of the week: From A Midsummer Night's Dream
The first is the Real World of the play, which represents reason. The second is the Fairy World, an ideal world which represents imagination and the supernatural. The third is their representation in art, where the action is self-reflective. Snider viewed Titania and her caprice as solely to blame for her marital strife with Oberon.
She therefore deserves punishment, and Oberon is a dutiful husband who provides her with one. For failing to live in peace with Oberon and her kind, Titania is sentenced to fall in love with a human.
And this human, unlike Oberon is a "horrid brute". Boas were the last major additions to A Midsummer Night's Dream criticism. To Boas the play is, despite its fantastical and exotic trappings, "essentially English and Elizabethan". Summing up their contributions, Kehler writes: InElizabeth Sewell argued that Shakespeare aligns himself not with the aristocrats of the play, but with Bottom and the artisans.
It is their task to produce a wedding entertainment, precisely the purpose of the writer on working in this play. He counted among them fantasy, blind love, and divine love. He traced these themes to the works of MacrobiusApuleiusand Giordano Bruno. Bottom also briefly alludes to a passage from the First Epistle to the Corinthians by Paul the Apostledealing with divine love.
Dent argued against theories that the exemplary model of love in the play is the rational love of Theseus and Hippolyta. He argued that in this work, love is inexplicable.
It is the offspring of imagination, not reason. However the exemplary love of the play is one of an imagination controlled and restrained, and avoids the excesses of "dotage".
He reminded his readers that this is the character of Theseus from Greek mythologya creation himself of "antique fable". He can't tell the difference between an actual play and its interlude. The interlude of the play's acting troop is less about the art and more of an expression of the mechanicals' distrust of their own audience. They fear the audience reactions will be either excessive or inadequate, and say so on stage.
Theseus fails to get the message. He viewed as main themes of the play violence and "unrepressed animalistic sexuality". The changeling that Oberon desires is his new "sexual toy".
As for the Athenian lovers following their night in the forest, they are ashamed to talk about it because that night liberated them from themselves and social norms, and allowed them to reveal their real selves. Allen theorised that Bottom is a symbol of the animalistic aspect of humanity. He also thought Bottom was redeemed through the maternal tenderness of Titania, which allowed him to understand the love and self-sacrifice of Pyramus and Thisbe.
He emphasised the "terrifying power"  of the fairies and argued that they control the play's events. They are the most powerful figures featured, not Theseus as often thought. He also emphasised the ethically ambivalent characters of the play. Finally, Fender noted a layer of complexity in the play.
Theseus, Hippolyta, and Bottom have contradictory reactions to the events of the night, and each has partly valid reasons for their reactions, implying that the puzzles offered to the play's audience can have no singular answer or meaning. He emphasised the less pleasant aspects of the otherwise appealing fairies and the nastiness of the mortal Demetrius prior to his enchantment. He argued that the overall themes are the often painful aspects of love and the pettiness of people, which here include the fairies.
Zimbardo viewed the play as full of symbols. The Moon and its phases alluded to in the play, in his view, stand for permanence in mutability. The play uses the principle of discordia concors in several of its key scenes.
Theseus and Hippolyta represent marriage and, symbolically, the reconciliation of the natural seasons or the phases of time. Hippolyta's story arc is that she must submit to Theseus and become a matron. Titania has to give up her motherly obsession with the changeling boy and passes through a symbolic death, and Oberon has to once again woo and win his wife.
Kehler notes that Zimbardo took for granted the female subordination within the obligatory marriage, social views that were already challenged in the s. Calderwood offered a new view on the role of Oberon. He viewed the king as specialising in the arts of illusion. Oberon, in his view, is the interior dramatist of the play, orchestrating events.
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Wikipedia
He is responsible for the play's happy ending, when he influences Theseus to overrule Egeus and allow the lovers to marry. Oberon and Theseus bring harmony out of discord. He also suggested that the lovers' identities, which are blurred and lost in the forest, recall the unstable identities of the actors who constantly change roles.
In fact the failure of the artisans' play is based on their chief flaw as actors: Weiner argued that the play's actual theme is unity. The poet's imagination creates unity by giving form to diverse elements, and the writer is addressing the spectator's own imagination which also creates and perceives unity. Weiner connected this unity to the concept of uniformity, and in turn viewed this as Shakespeare's allusion to the "eternal truths"  of Platonism and Christianity. Richmond offered an entirely new view of the play's love story lines.
He argued that what passes for love in this play is actually a self-destructive expression of passion. He argued that the play's significant characters are all affected by passion and by a sadomasochistic type of sexuality.
This passion prevents the lovers from genuinely communicating with each other. At the same time it protects them from the disenchantment with the love interest that communication inevitably brings. The exception to the rule is Bottom, who is chiefly devoted to himself.
His own egotism protects him from feeling passion for anyone else. Richmond also noted that there are parallels between the tale of Pyramus and Thisbefeatured in this play, and that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The lovers declare illusion to be reality, the actors declare reality to be illusion. The play ultimately reconciles the seemingly opposing views and vindicates imagination.
The mood is so lovely that the audience never feels fear or worry about the fate of the characters. She noted that in this play, the entry in the woods is a dream-like change in perception, a change which affects both the characters and the audience.
Bottom is so concerned about the terrifying effect of fantasy on the audience that he insists on including in the script an explanation that the Lion is really only Snug the joiner. But he and Quince are deeply concerned with verisimilitude.
The action requires a Moon and a Wall, and, in the absence of props, actors must play them.
The mechanicals may be the most down-to-earth of mortals, but they have a true appreciation of the power of theatre. Late in the day, a psychological twist occurs. Theseus re-evaluates the importance of imagination. When he chooses, from a list of possible entertainments, to hear the play, the Master of the Revels, Philostrate, warns him off: He is willing to take the play in the spirit in which it's offered: Initially, Theseus supports the brutal ancient right of Egeus, Hermia's father, to have his daughter put to death or forced into a life of celibacy if she refuses to marry Demetrius, the man he has chosen for her.
At the end of the play, with Demetrius now back with his original bethrothed, Helena, Theseus calmly overrules the still unforgiving Egeus. Hermia's wedding to her real love, Lysander, will go ahead. Egeus is not included in the nuptial celebrations.
Hippolyta's reply to Theseus's speech is essential to his imaginative education.
Her argument that, if more than one person testifies to the strange events, there is perhaps some objective truth in them, is no less logical. At the same time, I've little doubt that Shakespeare intended it to be a veiled comment on the art of theatre, reminding us that it is the community of witness that creates the magical impact, and allows a play to seem both strange and true. I never may believe These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover and the poet Are of imagination all compact: