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Allegory in Midsummer NIght's Dream

Allegory in Midsummer NIght's Dream

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Published by JOHN HUDSON
PHOTO ESSAY on production in 2007 of A Midsummer Night's Dream; A Comic Jewish satire, which illustrates the allegorical meanings of the play. Photos not for publication without permission. For further information contact www.darkladyplayers.com
PHOTO ESSAY on production in 2007 of A Midsummer Night's Dream; A Comic Jewish satire, which illustrates the allegorical meanings of the play. Photos not for publication without permission. For further information contact www.darkladyplayers.com

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Published by: JOHN HUDSON on Oct 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/17/2010

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THE ALLEGORY IN A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 
is only superficially a comic fairy story. itwas written as a religious allegory, a well established Elizabethan literarydevice. Part of it was detected by Dr. Patricia Parker, professor of Englishat Stanford, who is a leading expert on this play. She has shown that thecharacter of Puck is an allegory for the devil (the names Puck and RobinGoodfellow are both English names for the devil). Peter Quince derives hisnames from the Greek and Norman French words for Rocky Cornerstone,and represents Saint Peter. The characters in the Mechanicals’entertainment, Pyramus and Thisbe, which come out of a story by Ovid,are a standard and well known allegory for Jesus and the Church. Jesusdies for love of the Church, so Pyramus dies for the love of Thisbe.But what about Jesusreturning from heaven onthe Last Day? Supposedly,the reason why Jesus wasdelayed in returning to unitewith the Church was that aPartition divided heavenfrom earth. That Partition,which comes down on theLast Day is the “wittiestpartition” played by Wall.So the Wall finally comesdown, allowing Bottom/Pyramus/Jesus to comeback to embrace his bride, on the Day of Apocalypse. However it goesterribly wrong. Both die.And John Hudson showsthat the way thatPyramus/Jesus dies is thathe gets crucified again. Inhis death scene Pyramus isstabbed in the side, thelight disappears, and thereis a reference to diceplaying “die,die,die”. Thelittle scene is sandwiched inbetween two mentions of the word Passion, alludingvery clearly to the PassionStory, which is the Churchterm for the death of Jesus. Then Thisbe enters as the Church, comically

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