A Midsummer Night's Dream | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Louis Adrian Montrose

This literature criticism consists of approximately 43 pages of analysis & critique of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
This section contains 12,628 words
(approx. 43 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Louis Adrian Montrose

SOURCE: "'Shaping Fantasies': Figurations of Gender and Power in Elizabethan Culture," in Representations, Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring, 1983, pp. 61-86.

In the following excerpt, Montrose argues that A Midsummer Night's Dream calls attention to itself as both a product and a producer of Elizabethan attitudes regarding the relationship between gender and power.

I

Shakespeare's Duke Theseus formulates policy when he proclaims that "The lunatic, the lover, and the poet / Are of imagination all compact"; that "Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, / Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend / More than cool reason ever comprehends." The social order of Theseus' Athens depends upon his authority to name the forms and his power to control the subjects of mental disorder. The ruler's task is to comprehend—to understand and...

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This section contains 12,628 words
(approx. 43 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Louis Adrian Montrose