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