A Midsummer Night's Dream: An Ecocritical Interpretation


Asit Biswas


Shakeepeare studies In India started as early as in the early decades of the 19th century when the Indians seldom engaged in Shakespeare interpretation and so the term 'ecocriticism' was unheard of. What we mean by the phrase 'Critical studies of Shakespeare' started in India in 1917 when Hindu College (later on Presidency College and now Presidency University) was founded. Then Shakespeare began to be evaluated from an oriental point of view. Some of those interpretations may be considered ecocriticism, The same thing was done by Purna Chandra Basu (in his article "Sahitye Khoon ", D. L. Roy (in his book, Kalidas O Bhababhuti) etc. Ecocriticism as a literary movement, as Yogesh K. Tiwari and N.D.R. Chandra say, began in the 1990s. But ecocritical evaluation of Shakespeare's plays from Indian point of view is yet to flourish well. In A Midsummer Night's Dream one can find plethora of materials relevant not only for the students of literature but of environmental studies also. The aim of the present play is to reinterpret Shakespeare' play A Midsummer Night's Dream from ecocritical point of view and thereby justify the contemporaneity of the Bard. Now-a-days many in many universities in India the students have to read English and Environmental Studies as compulsory subjects, Shakespeare being a part of the former. As the students of Literature they would be keen to trace out the aesthetic aspects of the dramas of Shakespeare while belonging to various disciplines they would naturally seek for the relevance of Shakespeare in the present context. So the paper is an attempt to bring out Shakespeare's anticipation of the environmental problems and thereby prove Shakespeare as a topic of both literature and environmental studies.