By Judith M. Kennedy, Richard F. Kennedy
This learn lines the reaction to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" from Shakespeare's day to the current, together with critics from Britain, Europe and the US.
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Additional info for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare, the Critical Tradition)
103 For Spalding, the greatest advance that has been made in the appreciation of Shakespeare is in the 'growth of that philosophical spirit, which seeks to gain the proper point of view for contemplating a literary monument as a whole, instead of poring microscopically over the details of parts' (449). He approves of Hazlitt, Coleridge, Hallam, and Mrs Jameson, but dismisses Drake's Shakespeare and His Times as a 'collection of facts' that does not justify its 'pretensions to critical authority .
It was perhaps her insistence on looking for moral meaning and sentiment that led to Gervinus's belief that among English critics only she (together with Anna Jameson and Elizabeth Montagu) had addressed 'the task of handling Shakespeare's intellectual side, although this cannot surely be a woman's work',85 but when she examines the dispute between Hermia and Egeus she is troubled by the conflict of authority and nature; conventional morality seems at war with hints of reaction against patriarchy.
The recital of Beauties is part of the proof of the natural genius of Shakespeare: his native imagination puts him beyond the rules of the Unities of Aristotle and the French critics. 66 Eight years later Gildon published The Complete Art of Poetry, with a section of sixty-five pages on 'Shakespeareana: or Select Moral Reflections, Topicks . 68 Pope continued the practise of distinguishing Shakespeare's beauties in his edition (1723-5) in two ways: first, he marked 'the most shining passages' with 'comma's in the margin; and where the beauty lay not in particulars but in the whole, a star is prefix'd to the scene';69 and, secondly, he provided an extensive index.
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare, the Critical Tradition) by Judith M. Kennedy, Richard F. Kennedy