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Carter's engagement with "Orientalist" perspectives in the context specifically of her interest in fairy stories is discussed. As with her versions of traditional fairy tales in The Bloody Chamber, Carter explores in "Overture and Incidental Music" the energies of patriarchy. But what makes "Overture and Incidental Music" especially important is that Carter's inquiry into the gender dispositions of A Midsummer Night's Dream involves at the same time an exposure of what she identifies as an incipient Orientalism, an early imperialist bias, in the fairy story that lies at the heart of Shakespeare's play. Examining the negative potentialities embedded within Shakespeare's fairy world, in "Overture and Incidental Music" Carter dramatizes the dark foundations of the imperialist imagination.