The Anatomy Of Criticism By Northrop Frye

Decent Essays

Structuralism’s overriding focus is an aspiration to be an objective, almost scientific, analysis of literary texts. In "The Anatomy of Criticism," Northrop Frye explains that myths and binary pairs in opposition are a significant class of structural elements of literature that give meaning, both in a fixed and relational manner. In particular, he voices, “Shakespeare 's type of romantic comedy follows a tradition established by Peele and developed by Greene and Lyly… We may call it the drama of the green world, its plot being assimilated to the ritual theme of the triumph of life and love over the waste land” (Frye). This structuralist approach is crucial to analyzing Shakespeare 's comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One finds that the play revolves around many different pairs of oppositions, in particular that of the court and the forest. Analyzing the play with this structuralist point of view underscores the archetypal qualities of the court (the real world) and the forest and provides a deep contrast between both mythic locations. A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins in the real world: a world governed by the laws of the time in Athens. Theseus, as the ruler of Athens, embodies law and authority in the mortal realm and enforces the law and order that rule the Athethian court. Theseus enforces these rules at the beginning of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with an iron first. Firstly, under the law, Theseus declares he will marry Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, as a spoil of

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