Some probably inspired by Shakespeare's study of (trans.1597) by Greek historian and essayist Plutarch and Raphael Holinshed's (1587). Some are reworkings of previous stories, many based on English or Roman history. The dates given here are when they are said to have been first performed, followed by approximate printing dates in brackets, listed in chronological order of performance.
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Shakespeare Essays, Articles and Book Excerpts
In 1837, produced essays on the play. He turned his attention to Theseus' speech about "the lunatic, the lover, and the poet" and to Hippolyta's response to it. He regarded Theseus as the voice of Shakespeare himself and the speech as a call for imaginative audiences. He also viewed Bottom as a lucky man on whom showered favours beyond measure. He was particularly amused by the way Bottom reacts to the love of the : completely unfazed. Maginn argued that "Theseus would have bent in reverent awe before Titania. Bottom treats her as carelessly as if she were the wench of the next-door tapster." Finally, Maginn thought that Oberon should not be blamed for Titania's humiliation, which is the result of an accident. He viewed Oberon as angry with the "caprices" of his queen, but unable to anticipate that her charmed affections would be reserved for a weaver with a donkey's head.