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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: June ::
The Hounds of Theseus
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0290  Tuesday, 9 June 2009

From:       Paul Swanson <
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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 
Night Dream?

All the best,
Paul Swanson

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