Not With The Eyes

Stephen Ouimette (left) as Bottom and Evan Buliung as Titania in The Stratford Festival's A Midsummer Night's Dream. (Photo: Erin Samuell/The Stratford Festival)

Stephen Ouimette (left) as Bottom and Evan Buliung as Titania in The Stratford Festival's A Midsummer Night's Dream. (Photo: Erin Samuell/The Stratford Festival)

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"Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind," Helena remarks jealously in A Midsummer Night's Dream. And she's right, people have always fallen in love for reasons that have nothing to do with beauty. Psychoanalyst Adrienne Harris and Shakespeare scholar M.J. Kidnie discuss the politics of gender and love in Shakespeare's time and ours.


Love and lust confuse the rational mind. Sexual identity, too, is a minefield. Shakespeare's plays are filled with women dressed as men, with whom women fall in love -- and just to confuse things further, in Shakespeare's time, those women are played...by men.

Adrienne Harris is a psychoanalyst, and Faculty and Supervisor at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

M.J. Kidnie is a Professor of English Studies at the University of Western Ontario.


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