Jack shall have Jill/ Nought shall go ill : The Significance of Puck/Robin Goodfellow and Gender Performativity within A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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2021-12

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Indiana University South Bend

Abstract

Most scholars still tend to overlook Puck/Robin’s function as an agent of change within A Midsummer Night’s Dream, erasing the fairy’s significance in Shakespeare’s argument. My character analysis of Puck/Robin Goodfellow seeks to prove this literary function in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, pointing to how they provoke performative changes within Shakespeare’s four lovers. Using their magic, Puck/Robin incites inherent fluid changes within the lovers to alter their gender performances, revealing each one’s underlying gender range through conflict, transformation, and disruption. By breaking down Puck/Robin’s role as an agent of change in relation to his lovers, this analysis shall prove how Shakespeare argues the natural fluidity and variation of gender identity beyond patriarchal society’s “stable” limits in his play.

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Thesis ( M.A.) Indiana University South Bend, 2021

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Thesis