A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

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[Yates discusses the origins of Shakespeare's fairy world. arguing that the "Elizabethan fairies are not. . . manifestations of folk or popular tradition. " According to this critic, the characters inhabiting the dream world of Shakespeare's play stem from either Arthurian legend or the Christian variant of Cabala. a Jewish interpretation of the Scriptures based on the mystical value of words. In her further discussion of A Midsummer Night's Dream Yates focuses on the "imperial theme," explaining that the poet's references to an "imperial votaries" who resists Cupid's arrows should be viewed in the context of a cult of Queen Elizabeth I. According to Yates, Shakespeare pictures Elizabeth as a Vestal Virgin whose triumph over Cupid affirms her exalted status.]

Shakespearean fairies are related to the Fairy Queen [in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen] through their loyalty and through their fervent defence of chastity. . . . They are defenders of chastity. of a...

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This section contains 877 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Guide
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A Midsummer Night's Dream from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.