The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0290 Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Date: Monday, 08 Jun 2009 10:21:58 -0400
Subject: The Hounds of Theseus
Good morrow, Friends. I am puzzled about Midsummer's act 4 entrance of
Theseus and Hippolyta. As the lovers and Bottom sleep on the ground,
Theseus and Hippolyta enter discussing the "musical confusion" of hounds
during a hunt. Hippolyta remarks how impressive the hounds of Hercules
and Cadmus were on a recent hunting trip, and Theseus responds by noting
that his hounds are similar but better, saying that "a cry more
tuneable" than his own dogs has never been heard.
What is the significance of this brief, twenty-line discussion?
Why does Shakespeare have Theseus and Hippolyta talk about the hounds?
What contribution does this discussion make to the themes of Midsummer's
All the best,
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