By Harold Bloom, Janyce Marson
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Extra info for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages)
Titania is gentle and even maternal in her devotion to her new beloved. ” She brings him food and lulls him to sleep. This tenderness reflects her affection for the child who is, after all, at the heart of her conflict with Oberon. Bottom, truly an ass now, shows himself to be less aggressive and self-centered or self-promoting than he had been when he inhabited an entirely mortal form. He responds to Titania’s affection without surprise but also without egoism. He enjoys the creature comforts of being fed and scratched where he itches, but he is gentle with his ministers and thoughtful of them.
The rhymed couplets completing each sestet serve to construct a short poem that indicates a division between its speakers. QQQ Act IV, i, 1-48 Titania: Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed, While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy. Bottom: Where’s Peaseblossom? Peaseblossom: Ready. Bottom: Scratch my head Peaseblossom. Where’s Mounsieur Cobweb? Cobweb: Ready. Bottom: Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get you your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag.
Subtly, through the disparity in desire expressed by their rhetoric, Shakespeare distinguishes between apparent surface agreement and stifled conflict. That conflict between two characters’ needs and desires repeatedly shapes the action of the play. Theseus’s next speech reveals that Hippolyta is more than just his fiancée; she is a spoil of war. ” In all its manifestations in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love exists inside conflict and struggle as a desire to command, as well as within a context of mutual attraction, accord, and affection.
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages) by Harold Bloom, Janyce Marson