A Midsummer Night's Dream | Critical Essay by Peter Holland

This literature criticism consists of approximately 26 pages of analysis & critique of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
This section contains 7,767 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Peter Holland

Critical Essay by Peter Holland

SOURCE: "Theseus' Shadows in A Midsummer Night's Dream," in Shakespeare Survey: An Annual Survey of Shakespeare Studies and Production, Vol. 47, 1994, pp. 139-51.

In the following excerpt, Holland suggests that evocations of the Theseus myth in A Midsummer Night's Dream complicate and undermine the play's comic tone and its celebration of marriage.

As I was going up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there,
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish he'd stay away.

It is often noted that A Midsummer Night's Dream shares with Love's Labour's Lost and The Tempest a common lack of a clearly defined adequate narrative source. As Stanley Wells remarks in his essay 'Shakespeare without Sources' [in Shakespearean Comedy, 1972],

We are accustomed to the study of Shakespeare's plays by way of his sources. It is a common, and often rewarding, critical technique...

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This section contains 7,767 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Peter Holland
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