Monday, July 30, 2012

Shakespeare's aesthetic manifesto?

Hippolyta:
'Tis strange my Theseus, that these
lovers speak of.

Theseus:
More strange than true: I never may believe 
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. 
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, 
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends. 
The lunatic, the lover and the poet 
Are of imagination all compact: 
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, 
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt
The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling, 
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; 
And as imagination bodies forth 
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing 
A local habitation and a name. 
Such tricks hath strong imagination, 
That if it would but apprehend some joy, 
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear, 
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

Hippolyta:
But all the story of the night told over, 
And all their minds transfigured so together, 
More witnesseth than fancy's images
And grows to something of great constancy; 
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

- A Midsummer Night's Dream, V, i


1 comment:

  1. Creative writing and arts conception:
    “…for affection,
    Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
    Of what it likes or loathes.”
    (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice)

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