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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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A Subtle Reference to Queen Elizabeth

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In Act II, Scene 1, Shakespeare pays homage to Queen Elizabeth as the Virgin Queen during Oberon's story of how the flower got its power. She was the "fair vestal" Cupid missed with the arrow that struck the flower.

What might have been Shakespeare’s purpose in complimenting the queen for never falling victim to love and ultimately marriage?

A

Shakespeare was trying to get the queen’s attention as a possible suitor.

B

Shakespeare was using this story as political satire, hoping the queen wouldn't be able to decipher its true meaning.

C

Shakespeare was probably hoping Queen Elizabeth would recognize the compliment and be pleased enough by it to reward him with a patronage.

D

Shakespeare was trying to let other countries’ queens know that Elizabeth was better than they were because she never gave over control to a man.

E

Shakespeare was hoping that Queen Elizabeth would be so complimented that she would want to buy the rights to the play.