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I really liked it when Lysander called Hermia an acorn. A Midsummer Night s Dream, William ShakespeareA Midsummer Night s Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare in 1595 96 It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the former queen of the s These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors the mechanicals who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set The play is one of Shakespeare s most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world 2007 1390 185 9789646205468 16 Re reading the play this time, I couldn t stop thinking of of The Magic Flute Like Mozart s opera, Shakespeare s play may have a silly plot composed of fanciful, seemingly arbitrary elements, yet, through the power of absolute artistic mastery, the framework of what might otherwise be nothing but a second rate masque is transformed, by the unwearied attention of genius and in Shakespeare s case, sublime poetry into a work of great resonance, an archetypal myth. Ein Sommernachtstraum is one of the top references as a classic In the beginning, it is difficult to get there, but once you get used to the style, it is quite an entertaining, beautiful and confused story about the back and forth of the love affair A must for interested in Shakespear and theater. ( DOWNLOAD PDF ) ♂ A Midsommer nights dreame ♶ Shakespeare S Intertwined Love Polygons Begin To Get Complicated From The Start Demetrius And Lysander Both Want Hermia But She Only Has Eyes For Lysander Bad News Is, Hermia S Father Wants Demetrius For A Son In Law On The Outside Is Helena, Whose Unreturned Love Burns Hot For Demetrius Hermia And Lysander Plan To Flee From The City Under Cover Of Darkness But Are Pursued By An Enraged Demetrius Who Is Himself Pursued By An Enraptured Helena In The Forest, Unbeknownst To The Mortals, Oberon And Titania King And Queen Of The Faeries Are Having A Spat Over A Servant Boy The Plot Twists Up When Oberon S Head Mischief Maker, Puck, Runs Loose With A Flower Which Causes People To Fall In Love With The First Thing They See Upon Waking Throw In A Group Of Labourers Preparing A Play For The Duke S Wedding One Of Whom Is Given A Donkey S Head And Titania For A Lover By Puck And The Complications Become Fantastically Funny
Book Review4 out of 5 stars to A Midsummer Night s Dream, a comedy written in 1595 by William Shakespeare What a fun read I first read this in high school and then again in college as part of a course on Shakespeare Then I watched a few movie versions It s full of so much humor and creativity The plot is essentially the impacts of magic, as some fairy dust causes everyone to fall in love with the first person they see once the dust falls on them Imagine the hilarity that ensues in a chain reaction of who loves who If you want to read a comedy, this would be one of the top 3 It s got lovable characters, lots of understandable metaphors and a ton of memorable and enjoyable scenesAbout MeFor those new to me or my reviews here s the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you ll also find TV Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I ve visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who what when where and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by. TheseusI wonder if the lion be to speak.DemetriusNo wonder, my lord One lion may when many asses do, 1595 1596 4LysanderYou have her father s love, Demetrius.Let me have Haemia s Do you marry himThere are things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy , 4 , The Tempest The Merry Wives of Windsor , A tedious short drama about young Pyramus and his love Thisbe, a very sad and tragic comedy 2000 1999 1 7 2002 No Fear Shakespeare 400 Happy Shakespeare DayHappy Earth DayHappy Spring 23 April 2016Reading , Act a Day,From 18 April 2016To 22 April 2016 Man, being reasonable, must get drunk The best of life is but intoxication Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunkThe hopes of all men and of every nation Without their sap, how branchless were the trunkOf life s strange tree, so fruitful on occasion But to return, Get very drunk and whenYou wake with headache, you shall see what then. Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto II, Stanza 179 If we offend, it is with our good will.That you should think, we come not to offend,But with good will To show our simple skill,That is the true beginning of our end.Consider then we come but in despite.We do not come, as minding to content you,Our true intent is All for your delightWe are not here That you should here repent you,The actors are on hand and, by their show,You shall know all, that you are like to know. V.i.108 117 The Lightweight Satire A Midsummer Night s Dream is often viewed as a lightweight play, but it is much than that It is one of Shakespeare s most polished achievements, a poetic drama of exquisite grace, wit, and humanity It has perhaps become one of Shakespeare s most popular comedies, with a special appeal for the young But belying its great universal appeal it might be a stinging social satire too, glossed over by most in their dreamy enjoyment of the magnificent world Shakespeare presents and also by the deliberate gross comedy in the end that hides the play from itself.A Midsummer Night s Dream is an Archetypal play where charm, innocence, violence and sexuality mix in giddy combinations In this fantastic masterpiece, Shakespeare moves with wonderful dramatic dexterity through several realms, weaving together disparate storylines and styles of speech.It offers a glorious celebration of the powers of the human imagination and poetry while also making comic capital out of its reason s limitations and societies s It is also perhaps the play which affords maximum inventiveness on stage, both in terms of message and of atmosphere.The Course of True LoveThe course of true love never did run smooth1 In some ways Lysander s well known declaration becomes one of the central themes, as the comedy interlocks the misadventures of five pairs of lovers six if one counts Pyramus and Thisby and uses their tribulations to explore its theme of love s difficulties.2 Also central to the play is the tension between desire and social s Characters are repeatedly required to quell their passion for the sake of law and propriety.3 Another important conflict is between love and reason, with the heart almost always overruling the mind The comedy of the play results from the powerful, and often blinding, effects that love has on the characters thoughts and actions.4 Third antipathy is between love and social class divisions, with some combinations ruled out arbitrarily, with no appeal to reason except for birth This when combined with upward aspirations and downward suppressed fantasies form a wonderful sub plot to the whole drama Represented best by Bottom s famous dream.Each of these themes have a character representing them that forms the supporting cast to the lovers misadventures, defining through their acts the relationship between desire, lust and love and social customs 1 The unreasonable social s is represented by Egeus, who is one character who never changes Also perhaps by Demetrius who appeals to the same customs to get what he wants 2 Unloving desire by Theseus who too never changes, and also perhaps by the principal lovers HL in their original state Helena could be said to represent true love but Shakespeare offers us nothing to substantiate this comforting assumption It is also important that the women s loves not altered by the potion, which is very significantly dropped into the eyes, affecting vision i.e it can affect only superficial love 3 Lack of reason, though embodied in all the lovers, are brought to life by Puck as the agent of madness and of confusion of sight, which is the entry point for love in Shakespeare.4 Finally, class aspirations and their asinine nature by Bottom himselfLove, InterruptedOut of all these, every character is given a positive light or an extra human light, in the case of the fairies except Egeus, who is the reason for the night time excursion and all the comedy In fact, Shakespeare even seems deliberately to have kept the crusty and complaining Egeus out of the joy and mirth of the last celebrations he disappears along with the over restrictive society he is supposed to represent of marriages, reasoned alliances and bloodless cold courtships.Hence, it is social s that compel the wildness on love which is not allowed to express itself freely When freed of this and allowed to resolve itself in a Bacchanalian night all was well again and order was restored to the world.This reviewer has taken the liberty of assuming that this is the central theme of the play which is also deliciously ironic since it is supposed to have been written for a wedding What better time to mock the institution of marriage than at a wedding gala So in a way the four themes difficulties of true love, restrictions by propriety and customs, and the comical unreason that beset lovers, and class differences that put some desires fully into the category of fantasies are all products of social s that impose artificial restrictions on love and bring on all the things mocked in this play by Shakespeare.In fact this is one reason why Bottom could be the real hero of the play as is the fashion among critical receptions of the play these days he was the only one comfortable in transcending all these barriers, at home everywhere and in the end also content with his dreams and in the realization that he would be an ass to try to comprehend what is wrong with the world.The Subtle SatireThe lovers inversions of love could be taken to be a satire on the fickle nature of love but I prefer to see it as another joke at the expense of social s of the institution of marriage and courtship, in which each suitor professes undying love in such magnificent lines until he has to turn to the next and do the same This is reinforced by allusion to how women are not free to pursue their loves as men are since social s allow only the man to pursue and the woman has to chose from among her suitors It is quite telling that it was Bottom who accepted love and reason seldom go together and expresses the hope that love and reason should become friends His speech echoes Lysander s in the previous scene Lysander, the aristocrat instead is just another attempting to find a way to understand the workings of love in a rational way, the failures emphasize the difficulty of this endeavor Lysander thus ends his speech by believing claiming his newfound love for Helena was based on reason, quite absurdly, but yet quite convinced representing most of mankind.By taking the lovers to the enchanted forest of dreams, far from the Athenian social customs and into land where shadows and dreams rule, and then resolving everything there, even allowing Bottom a glimpse of aristocratic love, Shakespeare seems to say that it is the society that restricts love and makes it artificial all that is needed is bit of madness, a bit of stripping away of artificiality throughout he cupid s potion Again the need for a bit of madness lunacy, mark the repeated moon ref It is almost an appeal to the Dionysian aspects of life see alternate review on Nietzsche for detail Also see these two Plato based reviews for important and balancing takes on rational love Phaedrus The SymposiumPuck Vs Quince or Diana Vs Cupid or Art Vs EntertainmentSignificantly the final words of the play belong to the master of misrule, the consummate actor and comedian, Puck In some sense, Puck, with his ability to translate himself into any character, with his skill in creating performances that seem all too real to their human audiences, could be seen as a mascot of the theater Therefore, his final words are an apology for the play itself Also mark how Puck courteously addresses the audience as gentlefolk, paralleling Quince s address to his stage audience in his Prologue.Thus, the final extrapolation on the theme could be that Shakespeare ultimately points out that though a bit of madness and wildness is needed to bring love back into the realms of the truth, it can also be achieved through great art, through sublime theater not by bad theater though This could be a statement that Art and thus Theatre is a substitute for the madness of love that is needed to escape the clutches of society and live the fantasies away from the constricting artificial realities and find yourself, to rediscover yourself away from cold reason.When the actor playing Puck stands alone on the stage talking to the audience about dreams and illusions, he is necessarily reminding them that there is another kind of magic the magic of the theatre And the magic it conjures is the magic of self discovery Continuing the play s discourse on poetry, Puck defines the poetry of theater as an illusion that transports spectators into the same enchanted region that dreams inhabit Thus the spectators have not only watched the dream of others but have, by that focus of attention, entered the dream state themselves.This finding yourself seems to be the most essential part of love and as long as you are constrained by imposed restrictions, this is impossible That is why Shakespeare has made it easy for us and created an art form of a play that allows us to dream in unreason and wake up refreshed But there is a caveat too, highlighted by the parallel prologues of Puck and Quince A Crude entertainment like Pyramus and Thisbe might only allow one to while away an evening happily It might not give the transport and release and inward looking that is necessary to achieve the madness that true art is supposed to confer So Shakespeare uses the play to educate us on what is needed to find ourselves and then the play within the play to also show us what to avoid.Lord, What Fools Mortals BeArt, like love, is a limited and special vision but like love it has by its very limits a transforming power, creating a small area of order in the vast chaos of the world At the moment when the play most clearly declares itself to be trivial, we have the strongest appeal to our sympathy for itAlexander LeggattI will get Peter Quince to write a ballet of this dream It shall be call d Bottom s Dream, because it hath no bottomIn one of the most philosophically transcendent moments in the play, Bottom wakes up from his grand aristocratic magical dream and is disoriented Bottom decides to title his piece Bottom s Dream because it has no bottom all literature and art are bottomless, in that their meaning cannot be quantified, cannot be understood solely through the mechanisms of reason or logic Here it parallels life and love, both beyond reason, limited only by the imagination.Of course, this is a very simplistic representation of a wonderfully complicated play It can be read in many different ways based on the viewpoint you chose to adopt I have tried out a few and felt the need to comment slightly at length on this viewpoint This is not to diminish the play, which I fully concur with Shakespeare is indeed a Bottom s Dream since it has no bottom in the wealth of meaning to be mined from it.Lord, what fools these mortals be, Puck philosophizes, mockingly And perhaps we are indeed fools for entering into the dangerous, unpredictable world of love or of literature yet what fun would life be without it Though she be but little, she is fierceA Midsummer Night s Dream is Shakespeare s funniest comedy, honestly When a couple tries to run away, they get followed by a man in love with them, and then by a woman in love with him And a fairy fucking around makes it all go to shit As you do This play is probably funniest because of its excellent set of characters, including Hermia is 4 9 and could kick your ass runs a feminist blog Lysander is so beautiful and so, so useless Helena was told she was too tall for a pair of heels once by a shoestore clerk and stared him directly in the face while purchasing them your one friend who s pining over some shitty man Demetrius the shitty man okay, actually, he s doing his best, he s just like, really bad at everythingadaptation thoughts Okay, first of all, may I just say I won t rest until someone does a version that changes the genders of Lysander and Helena and makes it a play about an arranged marriage being forced apart because they both find gay love you re all weak for not taking this obvious opportunity But in case you wanted a serious answer I have not actually seen this adaptation yet, but I am a huge fan of the casting of this production image error mini review, as I do for classics this was my first time reading Shakespeare on my own, and I kind ofsaw that as a negative I like discussing Shakespeare in a classroom setting, and being motivated to mark up the text and otherwise process it fully I felt like I missed out on stuff here.also, this play felt so short maybe it s my edition s fault, for being 111 pages maybe it s how abrupt the ending was which is very or how flat the characters were, or how there were a sh t ton of them long story short, it s not my fave Shakespeare.all that being said, this was very readable and funny at some points I think this is one of the plays you really need to see performed, rather than read it.bottom line I recommend watching this I sure want to but I don t think I recommend reading it.