Why Does Puck Sweep?: Fairylore, Merry Wives, and Social Struggle

  title={Why Does Puck Sweep?: Fairylore, Merry Wives, and Social Struggle},
  author={Wendy L. Wall},
  journal={Shakespeare Quarterly},
  pages={106 - 67}
WHY DOES PUCK SWEEP? At the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon and his troupe of fairies enter the Athenian palace to bless the aristocratic newlyweds as they set out to consummate their marriages. After waxing lyrical about screeching predators and demonic spirits, Puck describes his nocturnal mission as an oddly mundane hallowing: "I am sent with broom before, / To sweep the dust behind the door" (5.1.389-90).1 When the fairies saunter casually into the ducal palace, the magic that had… 
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