Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 355. Monday, 7 December 1992.
From:           Kay Stockholder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 5 Dec 92 17:02:46 PST
Subject: Rs: MSND Subplots
Comment:        SHK 3.0252  Rs: MSND Subplots
It's an interesting question. It seems to me that two themes unite the several
plots, though I am not sure that the two themes are themselves united. That is,
the problems of dealing with the intrinsically irrational, or arational nature
of loving, with the changeableness of the human heart at the same time as
placing loving marriage at the centre of a viable social order. That takes care
of the human lovers and Oberon and Titania, since the fairies' domestic
squabbles in the wasteland speech symbolically causes the rest, and Bottom's
experience becomes a parodic version of that. The other theme has to do with
the nature of stage illusion; it links to the other in that the fairies stage
the circumstances in which the young lovers can sort themselves out, and in
that the only thing that prevents Pyramus and Thisbe from being a tragedy is
the mechanical's inability to understand stage illusion. That is why, I think,
the lover and the poet are in the same business. Theseus and Hippolyta provide
a different kind of love, as well as establishing the political order in which
all the others can be staged. Well, that is a short whirl for a big topic.

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