'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' in Context by Keith Linley Summary
Everything you need to know about the cultural contexts of 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'. Is this just a light-hearted romp or is Shakespeare trying to make serious points about courtship, love, marriage and human folly? This book provides detailed in-depth discussion of the various influences that an Elizabethan audience would have brought to interpreting the play. How did people think about the world, about God, about sin, about kings, about civilized conduct, about the magic and madness of love and attraction? Historical, literary, political, sociological backgrounds are explained within the biblical-moral matrices by which the play would have been judged. This book links real life in the late 1590s to the world on the stage. Discover the orthodox beliefs people held about religion. Meet the Devil, Sin and Death. Learn about the social hierarchy, gender relationships, court corruption, class tensions, the literary profile of the time, attitudes to comedy – and all the subversions, transgressions, and oppositions that made the play a hilarious farce but also an unsettling picture of a world so close to disaster.