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New PDF release: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the

By Harold Bloom, Janyce Marson

ISBN-10: 0791095959

ISBN-13: 9780791095959

ISBN-10: 1438112564

ISBN-13: 9781438112565

Introducing the Harold Bloom Shakespeare variants from Riverhead

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

Sample text

In love with Demetrius, her suitor before his affections changed to favor Hermia, Helena tries to win him back, going so far as to betray to him Hermia’s plans to elope. Although generally characterized as less spirited than Hermia, Helena reveals her determination when she follows Demetrius through the woods as he searches for the lovers, and she holds her own during the confusion that ensues. Lysander is Hermia’s beloved and suggests that they elope. However, his affections change when Puck mistakenly applies love-juice to his eyes, and he falls in love with Helena.

It shows the impotence of willfulness, such as that which Egeus reveals in his assertion of parental control or that which is shown through Hermia’s stubborn determination to follow her heart rather than submit to her father’s will. Their wills are rendered ineffective by more powerful, capricious forces, which are embodied by Puck. Those forces are independent of them, yet they nevertheless influence them. In a series of tableaux, Puck describes his power to subvert human (and animal) desire, will, and intention.

Moreover, even though Titania is hoodwinked and the object of her affection is an illusion, she experiences, like the audience or readers of the play, real emotions. QQQ Act III, i, 165-175 Titania : Be kind and courteous to this gentleman; Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes; Feed him with apricocks and dewberries, With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries; The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees, And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs And light them at the fiery glow-worm’s eyes, To have my love to bed and to arise; And pluck the wings from painted butterflies To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes: Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages) by Harold Bloom, Janyce Marson


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