Best of Series,  Shakespeare,  Show Notes

Episode 208: “Best of” Series – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Acts IV & V, Ep. 121

On The Literary Life podcast this week, we will wrap up our series on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our hosts, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas walk through the last two acts of the play, sharing their thoughts on the structure and ideas presented here. Angelina talks about why she thinks Shakespeare resolves the different conflicts the way he does. They discuss the importance of the play within the play, the fairy tale atmosphere, and the unreality of time and space. Cindy and Angelina both bring up plot points that feel slightly problematic to them. Angelina highlights the theme of harmonizing discord and bringing order from disorder.

To sign up for Thomas Banks and Anne Phillips’ webinar on Herodotus taking place January 30, 2024, head over to

Find Angelina’s webinar “Jonathan Swift: Enemy of the Enlightenment” at

Even though the spring 2022 Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian is over, you can still purchase the recordings at

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Commonplace Quotes:

Revolutionaries always hang their best friends.

Christopher Hollis

It is easy to forget that the man who writes a good love sonnet needs not only be enamored of a woman, but also to be enamored of the sonnet.

C. S. Lewis

For the end of imagination is harmony. A right imagination, being the reflex of the creation, will fall in with the divine order of things as the highest form of its own operation; “will tune its instrument here at the door” to the divine harmonies within; will be content alone with growth towards the divine idea, which includes all that is beautiful in the imperfect imagination of men; will know that every deviation from that growth is downward; and will therefore send the man forth from its loftiest representations to do the commonest duty of the most wearisome calling in a hearty and hopeful spirit. This is the work of the right imagination; and towards this work every imagination, in proportion to the rightness that is in it, will tend. The reveries even of the wise man will make him stronger for his work; his dreaming as well as his thinking will render him sorry for past failure, and hopeful of future success.

George MacDonald

Earth’s Secret

by George Meredith

Not solitarily in fields we find
Earth's secret open, though one page is there;
Her plainest, such as children spell, and share
With bird and beast; raised letters for the blind.
Not where the troubled passions toss the mind,
In turbid cities, can the key be bare.
It hangs for those who hither thither fare,
Close interthreading nature with our kind.
They, hearing History speak, of what men were,
And have become, are wise.  The gain is great
In vision and solidity; it lives.
Yet at a thought of life apart from her,
Solidity and vision lose their state,
For Earth, that gives the milk, the spirit gives.

Book List:

Fossett’s Memory by Christopher Hollis

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold Goddard

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Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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One Comment

  • Stephanie Mantifel

    Wonderful. Very much enjoyed this episode. Thank you so much! We’re currently getting ready to read Midsummer Night’s Dream in our CoOp. ❤️

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