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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
MND Changeling Child
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0804  Wednesday, 27 April 2005

[1]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 15:19:30 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0788 MND Changeling Child

[2]     From:   Elliott Stone <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 17:22:50 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0788 MND Changeling Child


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 15:19:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 16.0788 MND Changeling Child
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0788 MND Changeling Child

The child has no name in the play (and since he is an "Indian boy" it
seems unlikely he would be named Ganymede), but the reference makes
sense in terms of the Greek myth. Ganymede (I believe) was the beautiful
cupbearer of Zeus, a mortal so beautiful he was brought to Mt. Olympus,
and one of the many sources of strife between the King and Queen of the
gods. The connection would have probably been in the minds of many of
Shakespeare's more educated audience, but it seems all the more
important, therefore, that Shakespeare deliberately does not name him.

Annalisa Castaldo

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elliott Stone <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Apr 2005 17:22:50 -0400
Subject: 16.0788 MND Changeling Child
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0788 MND Changeling Child

I start with Venus and Adonis at line 1168 "A purple flow'r sprung up,
check'red with white--1177 "Poor flow'r quoth she,"this was thy father's
guise"---1193"Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen  Means
to immure herself, and not be seen.".

I then skip over to a Midsummer Night's Dream where Oberon is telling us
that Cupid is shooting at a fair vestal and at II.ii  line 165 "Yet
mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell. It fell upon a little western
flower, Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound". This harks
back to who in II.i line 21 "A lovely boy stolen from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a changeling. And jealous Oberon would have the
child" might be.  I think the changeling child that Titania will not
allow Oberon to claim, is certainly Titania's child and is not her
hand-maiden's, and  is in fact the same child that was the child of
Venus and Adonis in the poem.

In view of the fact that Venus and Adonis is dedicated "TO THE RIGHT
HONORABLE HENRIE WRIOTHESLEY, EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF
TITCHFIELD, I would suggest that the changeling child's name is Henry!
It may be that the mother's name is Elizabeth!! You are free to guess
who the father may be??

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

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