By Harold Bloom, Janyce Marson
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Additional info for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages)
My noble lord, This man hath my consent to marry her. Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke, This man hath bewitch’d the bosom of my child; Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, And interchanged love-tokens with my child: Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung, With feigning voice verses of feigning love, And stolen the impression of her fantasy Key Passages in A Midsummer Night’s Dream 19 With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits, Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers Of strong prevailment in unharden’d youth: With cunning hast thou filch’d my daughter’s heart, Turn’d her obedience, which is due to me, To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke, Be it so she will not here before your grace Consent to marry with Demetrius, I beg the ancient privilege of Athens, As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death, according to our law Immediately provided in that case.
Milton’s comparison of Jonson, a classical playwright, to Shakespeare, described as “Fancy’s child,” is particularly interesting. The phrase “Jonson’s learned sock” refers to a custom in which the sock, a low-heeled slipper, was worn by actors in classical comedy, as opposed to the buskin or high-heeled boot worn by actors in tragedy. Milton seems to make clear his preference for Shakespeare’s dreamy pageant, as opposed to Jonson’s more classical work, with the enchanting music near the poem’s close that evokes the sounds of nature: There let Hymen oft appear In saffron robe, with taper clear, And pomp, and feast, and revelry, With mask and antique pageantry; Such sights as youthful poets dream On summer eves by haunted stream.
The winds . . ” These fogs, “falling in the land,” have turned to rain and caused rivers to flood. Shakespeare’s image of the rivers swollen with pride shows the intimate connection between pride and disaster that is a comic theme threading through A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Titania continues to enumerate a catalogue of ecological disasters, including the seasons no longer bringing their proper weather. ” The events of the world, disparate as they may appear, are seamlessly connected and interdependent in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.