By Harold Bloom, Janyce Marson
Introducing the Harold Bloom Shakespeare variations from Riverhead
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Extra info for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages)
30 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Enter LYSANDER and HELENA Lysander: Why should you think that I should woo in scorn? Scorn and derision never come in tears: Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born, In their nativity all truth appears. How can these things in me seem scorn to you, Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true? Helena: You do advance your cunning more and more. When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray! These vows are Hermia’s: will you give her o’er? Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh: Your vows to her and me, put in two scales, Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.
Once Theseus speaks, Egeus is silent. It is up to the directors, actors, and audience to infer his unspoken response. Now alone, the four young people review their memory of the previous night, which is quite vague by now. But they are all awake, they conclude, confirming this by comparing their individual memories of the scene that has just passed with the duke and Hermia’s father. The irony is that the one who says “Why, then, we are awake” is Demetrius, the only one of them who has not been removed from his enchanted sleeplike state.
The audience would have been able to imagine the nighttime background based on Shakespeare’s highly evocative language. Not much notable commentary on the play was written in the seventeenth century. ” “L’Allegro,” a study in merrymaking and good spirits, pays tribute to Shakespeare and the spirit of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 11-15). In “L’Allegro,” Milton similarly consigns the unfortunate being to the hellish netherworld from whence it came: “Hence, loathed Melancholy, / Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born, .