Article Title

Bartholomew Fair: Ben Jonson's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Ben Jonson did write about dreams and dreamers, although Jonson's visionaries strike us quite differently from Shakespeare's lunatics, lovers and poets. Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream celebrates the special transforming power of a madness that is induced by love and poetry. In the majority of Jonson's plays, on the other hand, the characters most prey to imagination and fantasy are neither cleansed nor purified by their midday flights into unreality. Jonson's day-dreamers characteristically become immobilized within the deep mire of their visions and fantasies. Shakespeare's comic characters frequently triumph precisely because of their apprenticeship in folly and delusion.

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