Platonic love in literature. and Love in literature.
Looking at some of the Shakespearean comedies, author John Vyvyan suggests they express a consistent, profoundly Christian philosophy of life based on the Platonic ideas of beauty and love. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, and All's Well That Ends Well, the heroines bring to life the idea of love as the force that is awakened in the world by beauty which then leads the soul to perfection. Vyvyan believes that for Shakespeare, love was preeminent over human ideas of justice, that self-discovery was a supreme human experience, and that breaking faith with the ideal--as Agamemnon, Cressida, and Hector all do in Troilus and Cressida --sowed the seeds of tragedy. The author's recognition of Shakespeare's use of allegory enables him to make sense of certain developments in these plays that seem weak or absurd from the psychological standpoint. He does not suggest that Shakespeare's philosophy is the most important thing about his plays; it is simply one thing about them that ought to be known. The recognition of this philosophy enhances enjoyment of the plays, giving them a new dimension and richness. This edition contains a list of the author's Shakespearean references and an enhanced index.
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616., Holland, Peter, 1951-, and Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Theseus (Greek mythology) -- Drama., Hippolyta (Greek mythology) -- Drama., Courtship -- Drama., Dreams in literature., Fairy plays., Comedies., and English drama.
Simple and engaging on the surface, 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is none the less a highly original and sophisticated work remarkable for its literary and its theatrical mastery. Peter Holland traces the material out of which Shakespeare constructs his world of night and shadows, and the strange but enchanting amalgam he makes of them.