Tag Archives: Love

Performing Power Dynamics for Celia and Rosalind

Celia and Rosalind—Rosalind and Celia—are not just a retread of Helena and Hermia from A Midsummers Night’s Dream. Their identities, though bound to and mirrored in each other, also clash, and not over the ways they’re alike. Power, from the outset, between the two women is up for grabs, but not in standard competition. There’s no object of mimetic desire suspended between them, and they’re no subject of someone else’s. The power exists only between them and can only be granted from one to the other.

The question then, is, how to play them?

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Were the World Mine: A Queer Shakespearean Adaptation


Cory James Krueckeberg and Tom Gustafson’s musical adaptation of Shakespearean classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream utilizes the literary magic of Shakespeare to incorporate pressing and important present day issues regarding homophobia and toleration. Were The World Mine addresses the tale of Timothy (Tanner Cohen), a persecuted gay student at an all-boys private school outside of Chicago, and his fantastical forays into a dream world of songs, dance, and lustful mayhem. An anthem for acceptance and toleration, Were the World Mine incorporates traditional Elizabethan play elements, text, and costumes in the present world of an all male, testosterone-driven play setting. Continue reading

Shakespeare (not so) in Love

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander delivers the line, “The course of true love never did run smooth” (I.1, 134). He is referring to his own romantic complications in regards to marrying Hermia. This line, however, very aptly describes all the romantic relationships in the play. There is nary a functional relationship to be found. Continue reading

Behind the Romance and Comedy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

On the surface, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream appears to be a light-hearted play. The text’s twisted plot negotiates issues of power and love in seemingly ludicrous ways. Examples that emerge from the play range from Titania’s being forced to love an ass to the confusion of four mortals: Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, and Lysander. Although the plot unfolds as a comedy, a closer examination of the characters’ actions and dialogue reveal a darker side to the play’s seemingly harmonious conclusion. Continue reading

Is Personal “Fancy” a “Fantasy”?

Although their modern definitions are more distinct from each other, “fantasy” and “fancy” could more or less be used synonymously in Shakespeare’s era. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, both could mean “the process, and the faculty, of forming mental representations of things not present to the senses” (See definition 4a: OED – Fantasy). Yet at the same time, both words have a variety of underlying meanings that invoke a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s social commentary.  Continue reading