A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM: REGULATING DESIRE IN THE EMERGING MODERN STATE

Posted On Dec 11 2017 by

The incipient secularisation that takes place in early Modern times brings into focus the issue of governability. How to control individual behaviours as well as social ones becomes of paramount importance to the settlement and legitimisation of a state that, after the Reformation, can no longer lay its authority on a divine entity. Nor is religion a benchmark against which to measure individual wishes. Once desire is unleashed, it becomes as liberating as threatening to both individual and social existence as shown by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Love among young characters disrupts social organization as desire unfolds limitlessly, to …