Shakespeare’s comedies have, throughout centuries, attracted criticism that ranged from slight contempt for their stylistic impurity to utter admiration for the complexity of their structures. This paper focusses on one of Shakespeare’s best loved early comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in order to study the poetic nature of the play by taking into account some of the rhetorical elements that contribute to the construction of its particular atmosphere. Metamorphosis is explored in the movements of the words up and down scales of meaning operating through inversions, subversions, conversions and reversions that both bewilder and enchant the reader.
This paper deals with aspects related to interpersonal conflict interspersed with ideas of rape psychology, elements of struggle between different social classes building their social identity, as well as with aspects regarding the gestural display of power or lack of power as shown in Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson. Starting from the idea that every game involves some participants, a competitive or conflicting state between them and some reward, then we find that in this novel the game of abusing the physical body and/or of defending it reveals some other deeper significations.