‘Wrinkled deep in time’
Emily and Arcite in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
in Transporting Chaucer
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Chapter Four shows how Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream unfolds a wrinkle in time that discloses the memorial presence of Emily and Arcite from The Knight’s Tale and Two Noble Kinsmen. Emily and Arcite cannot be properly admitted to A Midsummer Night’s Dream because they would wreck the couplings of the play on which Theseus dynastic desires depend. But when Emily and Arcite become available to the temporal imagination of these three works, chronology and heteronormativity will not work. The Knight’s Tale, Dream and Kinsmen are intratemporal; the bodies, names and desires of their characters evade the policing of law-makers and guardians of literary history.

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