Here are some questions that will feature in your take-home exam/assignment next Tuesday. Others will apply to everything we have discussed up to, and including, “That in Aleppo Once,” “Hamlet” and “Julius Caesar.”
1.What does Theseus mean, at the opening of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, when he says to Hippolyta: “I have won thy love doing thee injuries”?
How does this opening affect your understanding of the play?
2.What does Pyramus (played by Bottom) mean literally, in the play-within-the-play, when he says that a lion has “deflowered” Thisbe?
Why do you think that Shakespeare makes him use this metaphor?
3.Carduus benedictus means “blessed” or “holy thistle.” Margaret teases Beatrice with this phrase (III,IV,68), and Hero says “There thou prick’st her with a thistle.” What do they mean?
4. Girard argues that a pattern of “mimetic desire” structures most of Shakespeare’s plays in a way that is partially concealed and partially revealed to audiences and readers. Give an example (from any play) of how Girard thinks Shakespeare reveals this principle, and also an example of how Girard thinks he conceals it.
5.Give two examples of the way in which you think Woody Allen’s film offers insights into Shakespeare’s play that are not obvious.