Her tale of midsummer magic comes at a time when many early nineteenth-century educators, influenced by emerging tenets of English Romanticism, saw "the imagination as a vitally constructive part of human nature. Mary's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" reminds her audience that Shakespeare's plays are, among other virtues, "enrichers of the fancy" xiv.
However, her tale, when read against the conventional nineteenth-century reading of the play, betrays an anxiety about the role of fancy in young women's educational development. Romantic writers frequently interpreted A Midsummer Night's Dream as a referential touchstone of poetic invention.
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The play was an important example of artistic ingenuity, and, as Jonathan Bate notes, eighteenth-century critics often cited Theseus's "shaping fantasies" speech as a "proof text" of the creative mind. In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the role of the imagination comes into sharper focus when compared to interpretations of the play by Mary's brother Charles and his poet-friend, Thomas Hood. In both versions, the imagination figures forth as the primary focus, and both writers find in Shakespeare's fairy landscape an allegory of the creative process.
The fairies nurture invention, the "bloom of fancy," which is first nursed in infancy, but subject to neglect in maturity. Hence, "The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies" begins with a narrator who, retreating "To some unwasted regions" of his mind 2.
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The reverie is cut short when the narrator witnesses a conflict between the woodland fairies and the figure of Time who calls for their destruction. Titania apostrophizes their plight:. Save the most special books for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Your children will love the anticipation of waiting for their favorites. One of you reads the kids a bedtime story or two while the other quietly bags popcorn and puts hot cocoa in travel mugs.
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Then, take the whole pajama-clad family on a Christmas-themed adventure. Drive around looking at Christmas lights, go ice skating, visit Santa, or do anything else holiday related.
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This is one tradition your kids are sure to love. Christmastime is undoubtedly the most magical season, for both children and their parents. Enjoy the time that you get to spend with them when building these traditions. Teaching them the meaning of Christmas, and showing them all of the wonder that the Christmas season holds will make this time that you spend together truly memorable.
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- The Giant Rat of Sumatra (Baker Street Detectives Book 2).
Our mobile app is coming this Thanksgiving to help parents use biblical elf adventures to guide their child through Advent. It will also have fun games and activities to reinforce that the true magic of Christmas is the birth of Jesus!