A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

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[Frye traces the literary sources if Shakespeare's play, with particular emphasis on Classical-Greek and Roman-and early Elizabethan comedy. According to Frye, Shakespeare does not follow classical models closely, but relies instead on his English predecessors, especially in the treatment if supernatural elements. The critic then touches upon possible flattering references to Queen Elizabeth in A Midsummer Night's Dream, explaining that the references are purely textual, and that none if the characters can be associated with the monarch. Frye also comments on the title of the play, observing that, as the medieval calendar had only three seasons, the eve if May Day, when the action of the comedy takes place, really is the middle of the summer, since that season starts in March. In his discussion of the fairy world, Frye identifies the poet's sources in Classical, Celtic, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon folklore and mythology. The dream world in the...

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This section contains 6,946 words
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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.