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Outlaw RhetoricFiguring Vernacular Eloquence in Shakespeare's England$
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Jenny C. Mann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449659

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449659.001.0001

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The Changeling

The Changeling

Mingling Heroes and Hobgoblins in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

(p.118) Chapter 4 The Changeling
Outlaw Rhetoric

Jenny C. Mann

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how the figure hypallage affects the physical transformation of characters in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with particular emphasis on the cohabitation of Athenian heroes and English hobgoblins in the play. It first considers George Puttenham's brief allusion to changelings, fairies, and elves in his definition of hypallage before discussing the connection between his Arte of English Poesie and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It then explores vernacular uses of hypallage in A Midsummer Night's Dream and uses the method of reading indicated by Puttenham's translated rhetoric to analyze the various exchanges and transfigurations in the play. It argues that the strange mixtures in Shakespeare's play form themselves according to the shapes and practices of English rhetoric.

Keywords:   hypallage, William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, heroes, hobgoblins, rhetoric, changelings, fairies, Arte of English Poesie, transfigurations

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