Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how we see desire on stage, especially in the absence of a body, through an analysis of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Focusing on the absence of the Indian boy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it considers whether desire can be present without a physicality to guarantee its presence on stage. It asks why Shakespeare does not produce the Indian boy as a fully materialized physical body and looks at two different modes of theatricality operating around the changeling boy’s physically absent body: the first might be hypothetically attributed to ‘Shakespeare’ and the second to ‘later productions’. It shows that the absent cause of desire and the inability to correlate desire to a fixed body seems to be a hallmark specifically of Shakespearean theatricality.

Keywords: desire, stage, William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, absence, Indian boy, physicality, presence, physical body, theatricality

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.