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Midsummer Night's Dream Manual: A Facing-Pages Translation Into Contemporary English PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Midsummer Night's Dream Manual: A Facing-Pages Translation Into Contemporary English
Author: William Shakespeare
Publisher: Published September 1st 2010 by Lorenz Educational Press (first published 1595)
ISBN: 9781885564078
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

117300.Midsummer_Night_s_Dream_Manual.pdf

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This manual offers a wealth of instructional tools, including background information on Shakespeare's sources, his life, his theater, and stage directions; suggestions for teaching the play; detailed summaries of every scene; questions and answers for every act; an annotated bibliography; a guide to pronouncing proper names; a Shakespearean time line; and and alphabetical This manual offers a wealth of instructional tools, including background information on Shakespeare's sources, his life, his theater, and stage directions; suggestions for teaching the play; detailed summaries of every scene; questions and answers for every act; an annotated bibliography; a guide to pronouncing proper names; a Shakespearean time line; and and alphabetical glossary of terms.

30 review for Midsummer Night's Dream Manual: A Facing-Pages Translation Into Contemporary English

  1. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    A Midsummer Night's Dream, abridged. DEMETRIUS: I love Hermia! LYSANDER: Shut up, I love her MORE. Anyway, you already hooked up with Helena. DEMETRIUS: Who? HERMIA: I want to marry Lysander but I'm already engaged to Demetrius and he won't leave me alone! Two hot boys are in love with me, WHY IS MY LIFE SO HARD? HELENA: FUCK. YOU. ALL. TITANIA: Hey Oberon, I got a new Indian baby from one of my dead servants. OBERON: I want that kid - hand it over, or I'll punish you with bestiality. PUCK: Holy shi A Midsummer Night's Dream, abridged. DEMETRIUS: I love Hermia! LYSANDER: Shut up, I love her MORE. Anyway, you already hooked up with Helena. DEMETRIUS: Who? HERMIA: I want to marry Lysander but I'm already engaged to Demetrius and he won't leave me alone! Two hot boys are in love with me, WHY IS MY LIFE SO HARD? HELENA: FUCK. YOU. ALL. TITANIA: Hey Oberon, I got a new Indian baby from one of my dead servants. OBERON: I want that kid - hand it over, or I'll punish you with bestiality. PUCK: Holy shit, there's so much awkward in that sentence I don't even know where to start. HELENA: I'm lost in the woods and for some reason Demetrius likes me now! WTF? HERMIA: I'm lost in the woods and for some reason Lysander hates me! WTF? DEMETRIUS AND LYSANDER: We're lost in the woods and WE LOVE HELENA OMG. PETER QUINCE AND COMPANY: We're lower-class actors, and therefore hilarious. BOTTOM: I got turned into a donkey. And just in case anyone's missed out on the subtle humor of my name, I'm going to be called an ass by just about everyone in this play. EVERYONE: Hee hee! Butt jokes. PUCK: Well, this is an epic clusterfuck. How are we supposed to get this all sorted out? OBERON: Easy. Just use my patented Make Everything Better potion! *POOF* DEMTRIUS: I love Helena! HELENA: I love Demetrius! LYSANDER: I love Hermia! HERMIA: I love Lysander! TITANIA: I love Oberon! OBERON: And we'll just keep your little fling with Donkey Man between me and the internet, okay? TITANIA: My who with a what? PETER QUINCE AND COMPANY: Hey, look! We're still hilarious! THESEUS: Okay, everybody's married to everybody - time to fuck like bunnies! EVERYONE: YAY! THE END.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    I really liked it when Lysander called Hermia an acorn.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    İntellecta

    "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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare A 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 Amazons. 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 Shakespea A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare A 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 Amazons. 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. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پنجم ماه جولای سال 2007 میلادی عنوان: رویا در شب نیمه تابستان؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: مسعود فرزاد؛ تهران، انتشارات ناهید؛ چاپ چهارم 1390؛ در 185 ص؛ شابک: 9789646205468؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 16 م موضوع نمایش‌نامه اینکه عشق را با عقل کاری نیست،‌ بلکه همانند شاعری و دیوانگی تابع خیال است. همراه خیال به وجود می‌آید، شدت یا ضعف پیدا می‌کند، و از میان می‌رود. دکتر جرج براندس دانمارکی در ضمن انتقاد از این درام، در تایید همین باور مینویسد: بشر دست‌خوش غرایز، و رویاهای خویش است، و مدام یا خودش را گول می‌زند، و یا کسی دیگر او را فریب می‌دهد. ا. شربیانی

  6. 4 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 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 Book Review 4 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 scenes. About Me For 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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    أولا اعترف "خجلا" أن دي أول قراءة ليا لشكسبير، وبالصدفة جائت باسبوع الجودريدز له فمن أول ابريل وانا بروايات الغابات أُجيل وقررت ختم تجوالي بحكايات الجنيات الخرافية، برواية قوية كلاسيكية وهل هناك اشهر من شكسبير، وحلم ليلة منتصف صيف الشهير؟ لكن اول عقبة صدمتني..أنجليزي ده يامرسي؟ ولكن جنيات جوجل ارسلتلي..موقع عظيم ساعدني موقع نافع العلم غزير..به قسم شكسبير نو فير لاقرا للشاعر المسرحي الجليل، بلغته الاصلية جنبا للغة هذا الجيل لقد بهرتني المسرحية بحق كيف لم ألق لها من قبل بالا حلم ليلة منتصف صيف ،لربما اكثر أولا اعترف "خجلا" أن دي أول قراءة ليا لشكسبير، وبالصدفة جائت باسبوع الجودريدز له فمن أول ابريل وانا بروايات الغابات أُجيل وقررت ختم تجوالي بحكايات الجنيات الخرافية، برواية قوية كلاسيكية وهل هناك اشهر من شكسبير، وحلم ليلة منتصف صيف الشهير؟ لكن اول عقبة صدمتني..أنجليزي ده يامرسي؟ ولكن جنيات جوجل ارسلتلي..موقع عظيم ساعدني موقع نافع العلم غزير..به قسم شكسبير نو فير لاقرا للشاعر المسرحي الجليل، بلغته الاصلية جنبا للغة هذا الجيل لقد بهرتني المسرحية بحق كيف لم ألق لها من قبل بالا حلم ليلة منتصف صيف ،لربما اكثر اعمال شكسبير خيالا جمالا...خرافة...سعادة...ومرحا وضحكا جللا اوك، انا زهقت من السجع ، عذرا صديقي القارئ دعني اصيغ المراجعة دون تضيع الامر هزلا ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ يجب ان اعترف انني اشعر انني الوحيد من يري ان تلك المسرحية كاملة، ليس فقط لأنني من هواة القصص الخرافية ولم أتوقع أن يقدم شكسبير مثله ولكن أعجبني جدا سخريته من التراجيديات الحمقاء كأنتحار المحبين بل والسخرية من ترتيبات الزواج المسبقة بشكل ممتاز بل وتقديم العدالة الشعرية لمن يلعب بقلوب الفتيات ويتركها ولكني ايضا ضبطت نفسي اضحك علي اكثر من موقف لم يعف عليه الزمن ويجعله مكررا...بل وانفجرت في الضحك لا أراديا بفصلها الأخير بأكثر من موقف منها هذا الحوار بين الدوق ثيسيوس و ديميتريوس اثناء مشاهدتهم المسرحية الهزلية Theseus I wonder if the lion be to speak. Demetrius No wonder, my lord. One lion may when many asses do. يقصد هنا الممثلين الأخرين , بينما الأسد هو ممثل أخر , وبالفعل سيتكلم بلا اي لزوم حسنا , لا أعلم أن كان لفظ حمار له نفس المعني المزدوج العامي في القرن السادس عشر ولكن هذا السطر فعلا جعلني اضحك بشدة ودعني اصحبك معي لأكثر ما اعجبني بالقصة...ولنر قصص الحب الظريقة والمختلطة بشئ من السخرية والتقاليد العتيقة...هجاء للانتحار واللعب بقلوب البنات..تقديس الحب الذي يمنح للطبيعة الاستمرار..ويجعلنا مغفلين في بعض الأحيان *** سبع قصص حب *** ❤❤ ضد روميو و جولييت ❤❤ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ الرواية مليئة بقصص الحب المنطقية منها والغير منطقية..ولكن كلها تنال نهاية عادلة جميلة سعيدة وفي نفس الوقت تسخر من نهايات قصص الحب المأساوية المبالغ فيها في مسرحية بداخل مسرحية الحق يقال ظننت أن شكسبير هنا يسخر من رائعته الأشهر "روميو و جولييت" والتي أراها قمة المحن المقدم بحنكة أدبية حقيقية خالدة... ولكن هنا بمسرحية "حلم ليلة منتصف صيف" يتم تقديم بنهايتها في حفل زفاف دوق أثيا مسرحية تعتبر محاكاة ساخرة علي قصة شبيهة بروميو وجولييت والغريب ان حسب الحسابات حول تواريخ اول عرض لمسرحيات شكسبير فأن حلم ليلة صيف تلي روميو وجولييت بعام واحد...في 1595/1596 قصص الحب هنا تم تقديمها بشكل ظريف...لا اخفي انني في المراجعة هذه المرة سأختصر شرح الاحداث -المسرحية قصيرة أصلا فالتقرأها رجاءا- وسأكتفي بانطباعاتي وتحليل ما استطعت فهمه منها -فلست متعمق للاسف بعد في ادب شكسبير ولكن الملاحظ قبل البدء أن بالرغم من المعترف عليه ان اعمال شكسبير تعج باللوردات والملوك إلا أن المسرحية تلك مختلفة بحق..حيث ستجد أيضا ان شخصية عمال القصر لديهم دور كبير بل واكبر من دور الدوق نفسه بل وايضا دور الجنيات والذي سنتطرق له لاحقا ❤❤❤ الأولــي ❤❤❤ دوق أثينا ثيسيوس وملكة الأمازون هيبوليتا ---------------- لا أدري لم افهم كثيرا كيف أحتل مملكتها وفي نفس الوقت هي واقعة في الحب به بهذه الدرجة ولكن علي كل حال هما علي توافق وحب من بداية المسرحية ويخططان لحفل زواجهما بشوق شديد خلال 4 ايام لن تجد الكثير عن قصتهما..لكن شخصية ثيسيوس أعجبتني بشدة انه عادل وعاشق وخفيف الدم ايضا من تعليقاته عن المسرحية ❤❤❤ الثـانية والثـالثـة ❤❤❤ هيرميا - ليساندر - ديميتروس - هيلينا ------------------ هيرميا تحب ليساندر وليساندر يحبها ...وابيها رجل نبيل صديق الملك يحاول ان يجعلها تقتنع بأن تتزوج ديميتروس الذي يحبها وابيها يفضله عن ليساندر Lysander You have her father’s love, Demetrius. Let me have Haemia’s. Do you marry him. اللي هو ليساندر بيقول لديميتروس "طالما ابوها بيحبك كدة متسيب البت واتجوزه هو" … هيرميا بقي بتضرب قنبلة أن ديميتروس رسم الحب علي اعز صديقاتها هيلينا وتركها بعد ماوقعت في حبه -وقعت في الحب فقط المسرحية لا يوجد بها جنس خارج اطار الزواج ودي ميزة مهمة يحتد الصراع ولن اتكلم عن الأحداث.يكفي ان تعرف ان هذا الصراع سيستغرق مشهد كامل هو الأطول خلال الفصل الثالث في الغابة...ولكن الجنيات سيتغير كل شئ الحب بين الاربع شخصيات كان ظريفا..وأعتقد ان النهاية العادلة حتي وإن تدخلت فيها الجنيات كانت موفقة جدا واعجبتني للغاية شعرت بالشفقة علي هيلينا جدا ولكن عنادها وعدم تصديقها كان ظريفا وان كان مطولا ❤❤❤ الرابعة ❤❤❤ نك بوتوم ونك بوتوم ---------- هو شخص واحد..بوتوم ذلك العامل البسيط والذي يقوم بدور البطولة في المسرحية التي يعدها فريق من العمال بالقصر لتقديمها في حفل زواج الدوق ويتدخل بوتوم في عمل المخرج طوال الوقت بتوجيهات لباقي فريق التمثيل بشكل ساخر وايضا في تفخيم وتضخيم دوره سيجعلك تشعر أن أمثال بوتوم موجودين في كل مكان في مجالات الادب والفن عاما في مصر فبوتوم بالرغم من موهبته التمثيلية البشعة فهو المتحكم وتأثيره كان علي كل شخصيات المسرحية بل وديكوراتها البشرية استغرق دور بوتوم وقت طويل من المسرحية كما قلت في بداية الرواية .. كتبه شكسبير بشكل جيد فعلا ستشعر انه رجل يحب نفسه جدا بشكل خفيف الدم واعجبني جدا ايضا...انه يحب نفسه حتي عندما حدثت القصة السادسة ❤❤❤ الخامسة ❤❤❤ تايتانيا واوبيرون -------- ملكة وملك الجنيات الخرافية بالغابة "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" يبدو أن شكسبير يريد أن يظهر أن هناك غرائب ما بهذا العالم حسنا, طوال الشهر قرأت روايتين حديثيتين عن الجنيات الخرافية بالغابات...ومسرحية تجمع بين 4 من اشهر قصص الجنيات الخيالية الفلكلورية في مسرحية واحدة بداخل الغابة وبشكل سوداوي واقعي كان يجب أن أنهي تلك الرحلة الروائية بالغابات..وعلي حسب علمي أن تلك المسرحية لشكسبير بها ايضا غابة وجنيات خرافية..وبصراحة قد فاق توقعاتي الجنيات لهم دور مهم في الحبكة التي تجعلها كالحلم بالنسبة للابطال..شعرت ان هناك معني خفي لفكرة الفتي الهندي ابن صديقة تايتانيا والذي بسببه يحدث مشكلة بين الزوجين الملك والملكة..فقد قرأت مؤخرا في رواية "بندول فوكو" أن شكسبير لديه معان خفية كثيرة عن الغرائبيات والهند شهيرة بذلك, لذا لا اعتقد أن اصل الفتي من الهند قد جاء من فراغ اما عن تقلبات الجو التي تم ذكرها في الأحداث ايضا بسبب ان ملكة الجنيات في مزاج سئ ايضا يثبت ان الرجل لديه نظرية ما بعد البحث وجدت ان الجنيات لم تظهر في قصص اخري لشكسبير سوي أثنان وهما : "The Tempest" "The Merry Wives of Windsor" وحتي دورهما كان بشكل اقل من هنا ..كما تم ذكر جنية معالجة في روميو وجولييت قصة الحب هنا لا تعد قصة حب قدر ما هي خلاف زوجي بسيط تسبب في عدم المعاشرة بينهما.. وبسبب هذا الخلاف حدثت كل الاعاجيب لكل الشخصيات بسبب عطر الحب...وما زاده هو ان أوبيرون لديه من النبل أن اشفق علي مصير الأحباء لذلك حدثت عقدة الحكاية عندما جعل عفريت يدعي روبين ان يساعده في حل الخلاف بينه وبين زوجته وايضا بين الاحباء ❤❤❤ السادسة ❤❤❤ تايتانيا و بوتوم -برأس الحمار -------------- بالرغم من انه خطأ عطر الحب إلا أن خفة دم بوتوم ومدي شعوره بنفسه لن يجعله يلحظ ولا بأنه ذو رأس حمار ولا حتي بحب ملكة الجنيات الجميلة له … بل سيحاول ان يجعل خدمها يخدموه فحسب , إلم أقل لكم انه في علاقة حب مع نفسه؟ ❤❤❤ السابعة والأخيرة ❤❤❤ بيراموس وثيسبي -------- وهي مسرحية تم تقديمها في أخر المسرحية..مسرحية بداخل مسرحية تسمي "الدراما القصيرة المرهقة عن بيراموس وحبيبته ثيسبي، تراجيديا حزينة جدا وكوميدية" أو بالأنجليزية “A tedious short drama about young Pyramus and his love Thisbe, a very sad and tragic comedy.” هذه المسرحية هي أحد اكثر ما اعجبني بتلك القصة واضحكني بشدة... وتم تقديمها في حفل الزواج بعد النهايات السعيدة هي المسرحية التي يعدها العمال منذ بداية الرواية ويقوم ببطولتها بوتوم وبقية العمال والتي تتحول لمسخرة حقيقية ليس فقط لأداء الممثلين المقدم بأسوا طريقة ممكنة ولا كسرهم للحائط الرابع وحديثهم المباشر للجمهور...ونوع الادوار نفسها -كالحائط والقمر والاسد - وحتي تعليقات الابطال "ثيسيوس" دوق اثينا والمشاهدين معه كانت اكثر مرحا فكرة المسرحية بداخل المسرحية اكيد فكرة جيدة، لكن الحكاية نفسها تم تقديمها بشكل كوميدي جدا مثير جدا للضحك ولتنتهي المسرحية بالمرح...بالحب الذي هو سر انتظام الحياة والطبيعة .. وحتي العدالة ❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤❤ ❤ ❤ النهاية ❤ ❤ ❤ يجب أن اعترف اني كنت مخطئا..خصوصا اني لم اقرأ شكسبير اولا لاني تعليم "حكومي" فلم يكن في المقرر علي الاقل حتي 2000 سنة التخرج من الثانوية العامة مسرحية له...وللاسف لا اعتبر نفسي قارئ جيد..لان الكثير لم أقرأه بعد برغم اهميته وشعرت انه كان سيكون مملا وثقيلا ولا انكر ان دي اكتر مسرحية اصلا كنت متشوق اقرأها من اواخر التسعينات مع صدور فيلم مبني عليها في 1999 ولكني لم اشاهده لان الرقابة منعته وقتها ولكن الاسم كان عالقا ببالي لفترة طويلة وكنت وقتها بعمل اغاني كوكتيلات علي شرائط كاسيت واسميها "حلم ليلة صيف ج1 ووصل حتي ج7 قبل ان يظهر راديو سوا وقتها في 2002 -فقرة الذكريات الاليمة :)- ولكن جائت الفرصة اخيرا ومتأخرا افضل من ابدا ولم اتخيل اني ساستمتع بها لهذه الدرجة مطلقا ماذا تعلمت من المسرحية؟ لا شئ...أنها ملهاة ساخرة اجتماعية ظريفة بل ونظيفة بعكس كثير من الروايات والمسرحيات الحديثة المعاصرة اضحكتني كثيرا وامتعتني وجذبتني أه..وأن الحب قد يصنع منا مغفلين احيانا...كما يقول العنوان الدعائي للفيلم التسعيناتي..ولكن في نفس الوقت الحب اساسي جدا لسير الحياة والطبيعة..فقط في اطاره السليم ولتستمتع بالمسرحية لهذا الحد مثلي فطبعا بلغته الاصلية افضل.. و بالاستعانة بقاموس "انجليزي -انجليزي" ومتصل بالانترنت الموضوع ظبط كتير بس عايز شوية تركيز لكن بصراحة الموقع الممتاز سابق الذكر No Fear Shakespeare وده ممكن تقرأ النص الاصلي ونص مكتوب بالانجليزي الحديث لكن النص القديم برغم صعوبته لكنه افضل بكتير في السجع علي الاقل لكن الموقع ده حاول بشكل ممتاز انه يخليك برضه تستمتع بالنص الجديد واضافة قليل من السجع من وقت للتاني زي ماعملت في اول الريفيو هنا بالعربي اقرأ الاتنين..وترجم لو تحب بس فعلا متعة الحكاية بلغتها الاصلية ستجد انك ستبتسم وربما تضحك بالرغم من ان 400 عاما مرت عليها اتمني لك قراءة سعيدة بغابة شكسبير والذي سأقرأ له المزيد بالتأكيد Happy Shakespeare Day...Happy Earth Day...Happy Spring . :) 23 ِApril 2016 Reading , Act a Day, From 18 April 2016 To 22 April 2016

  8. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication: Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk The hopes of all men and of every nation; Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk Of life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion: But to return,—Get very drunk; and when You 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 sh Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication: Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk The hopes of all men and of every nation; Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk Of life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion: But to return,—Get very drunk; and when You 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 delight We 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 more 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’ mores. It is also perhaps the play which affords maximum inventiveness on stage, both in terms of message and of atmosphere. The Course of True Love “The course of true love never did run smooth.” 1. 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 mores. 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 mores 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 (H&L) 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 himself Love, Interrupted Out 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 mores 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 mores 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 Satire The 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 mores - 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 mores 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 Symposium Puck Vs Quince (or) Diana Vs Cupid (or) Art Vs Entertainment Significantly 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 Be “Art, 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 it. . . .” ~ Alexander Leggatt “I will get Peter Quince to write a ballet of this dream. It shall be call’d “Bottom’s Dream,” because it hath no bottom.” In 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?

  9. 4 out of 5

    emma

    mini-review, as I do for classics: this was my first time reading Shakespeare on my own, and I kind of...saw 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. mini-review, as I do for classics: this was my first time reading Shakespeare on my own, and I kind of...saw 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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    3 1/2 stars 3 3/4 Upped the rating when I realized that I'd given 3 1/2 to King John, Pericles, and The Taming of the Shrew Here I've decided to add some comments about this project, finding myself about 30 months into it. - I've read 10 of the plays so far, so I'm on schedule; all but one (The Tempest) reviewed; I trust I'll get to that one soon. - The plan outlined below has been altered some, which can be seen by taking a look at some of my more recent reviews. I've tried to just go where I plea 3 1/2 stars 3 3/4 Upped the rating when I realized that I'd given 3 1/2 to King John, Pericles, and The Taming of the Shrew Here I've decided to add some comments about this project, finding myself about 30 months into it. - I've read 10 of the plays so far, so I'm on schedule; all but one (The Tempest) reviewed; I trust I'll get to that one soon. - The plan outlined below has been altered some, which can be seen by taking a look at some of my more recent reviews. I've tried to just go where I please instead of being rigid. - I've tried different strategies for ordering the reading list. For whatever reason, the ten plays I've read are five comedies, three histories, and two - Pericles & The Tempest - well, what the heck are they? See my reviews if you care what I thought. - I've added links to the plays I've reviewed inside my review of the Complete Works (link below, right under Resources.) - The bit about watching a movie of the play didn't last too long, since I found it difficult to find a movie for some. - Making up for that, I'm now seeing at least three plays a year on stage. - I'm still kickin'. I guess that's the best part. 8 ) I made a plan in early 2014 to read all of Shakespeare’s plays. Not in 2014, but in the rest of my days. Naturally this plan relied on some assumptions. First, all plays would be treated as if I’d never yet read them (which was true for most of them). Second, I assumed that reading one play every three months would be reasonable. There are 37 plays, hence a little over nine years. I would be 78. Seems okay. Problems 1. What order to read the plays in? A. Best guess as to the order they were written? A’. The order that they appear in my Complete Shakespeare? (close to the same thing) B. By sets of the types of Play? (comedy, history, tragedy, problem plays) C. Random? Wresting with this question occupied me until about August. (view spoiler)[NO, NO JUST KIDDING (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[I randomly selected MND to start with. (hide spoiler)] 2. I only got one play read. Okay, this is not huge. I now have 36 to go. An even nine years? Perhaps this is a very favorable, even unrealistic? assumption. Yet … anyway. So I’ll be 79. Seems okay. 3. My answer to 1, and the fact of 2, may be related. I’ve never much enjoyed reading plays that are comedies. Seems to me that they’re much more fun to watch than to read. There’s not much to engage the mind in a comedy, nor is there anything to learn from them (like there is from a history, for example). (view spoiler)[Okay, you can learn about human nature from a good comedy, just like you can learn about human nature from any well-written fiction. But in my experience a comedy is pretty much pure entertainment, like a musical. If it goes beyond entertainment, then it goes beyond comedy. (hide spoiler)] Resources The edition of Shakespeare’s works that I have is this one. The books of commentaries that I have are The Wheel of Fire, Shakespearean Tragedy and Coleridge’s Writings on Shakespeare. WoF contains analyses of seven of the plays, together with other essays. ST (Bradley) contains very lengthy pieces on four of Shakespeare’s play, with some other lectures. The Coleridge book discusses to varying degrees many of the plays. I have one other book, Engagement with Knavery by Robert Jones, which deals with only one of the plays, Richard III. This book seems to be unheard of on GR. (Duke Univ. press, 1986) For movies, I have Netflix. Plan of attack Read the introduction (view spoiler)[I noted the sources listed: Chaucer (the opening of the play has similarities to the beginning of the Knight’s Tale; Plutarch’s “Life of Theseus”; and of course Ovid’s tale of Pyramus and Thisbe. Naturally the Faeries are found in folklore. “Belief in faeries, which had been fairly strong some generations before, was dying out except among the ignorant … Among educated men and women fairies had become a picturesque fantasy, and a topic for pretty verse and Courtly entertainment.”(view spoiler)[Spencer’s The Faerie Queen, written just a few years before this play, has nothing to do with Shakespeare’s use of faeries here. Spencer’s work was a vast and serious allegory related to contemporary political and religious affairs in England, not a light entertainment. His “Faerieland” is peopled with Arthurian knights representing various virtues, not with folkloric pixies. (hide spoiler)] Puck was modelled on a well-known character of country tales named Robin Goodfellow. Shakespeare appears to be the first to have conferred the name “Puck” to this good fellow. There are also links to three earlier plays by Shakespeare: Two Gentleman of Verona (the cross-wooing of two pairs of lovers), Love’s Labor’s Lost (amateurs producing a drama for royalty) and Romeo and Juliet (fairy pranks).(view spoiler)[Who says GoodRead reviewers are the only ones to re-use material? (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] Read the play (view spoiler)[If you’ve never read the play, and want a synopsis, look elsewhere. Well okay, here’s a synopsis. Athens: Theseus and the Amazonian queen Hippolyta are preparing to be wed. Young Athenians Lysander & Demetrius are both in love with Hermia, who loves the first & loathes the second, whom her father insists she must wed. A second Athenian lass, Helena, does love Demetrius, but is spurned by him. A group of comedic blue collars is preparing to present Pyramus & Thisbe following the wedding ceremony; chief among these is Bottom, a bombastic buffoon. Meanwhile the king and queen of the faeries (Oberon & Titania) are preparing for the midsummer night’s faerie revelries in the woods outside Athens, but are locked in a caustic argument about Titania’s young “changeling”, a boy “stolen from an Indian king”. (II.i.21-23) Oberon commands his mischief-maker Puck to gather a weed that, when sprinkled on the eyes of a sleeper, will cause them to fall madly in love with the first live being they see on awaking. Puck is to sprinkle this on Titania and arrange that she will see something or someone ridiculous when she awakes (view spoiler)[Oberon will only allow the spell to be removed when she agrees to give him her boy (hide spoiler)] . Mix this in with Lysander and Hermia deciding to flee from Athens, and sleeping in the woods when they tire; Demetrius searching for Hermia; Helena moping about in the same woods; the play actors rehearsing in the same environs; Puck wreaking planned and unplanned havoc on various characters, including giving Bottom the head of an ass; Titania falling for this ass-headed one; lovers reversing the object of their desires, spurning those whom they formerly loved; and soon only Oberon is left with any knowledge of what’s going on, trying to instruct Puck on how to straighten everything out. Eventually, all’s well that ends well. It is good fun. (hide spoiler)] Watch a movie of the play (view spoiler)[ Several versions of the play have been filmed, the earliest in 1909 with Charlie Chaplin. I chose to watch the 1935 film. This movie features extensive use of Felix Mendelssohn's beautiful music which he wrote for the play – first the 1826 Overture, and then the 1842 incidental music. The film features the debut of Olivia de Haviland as Hermia; James Cagney as Bottom (his only Shakespearean role, for which he got a lot of deserved praise); and a thirteen year old Mickey Rooney as Puck. The wording and cadence of Shakespeare is fairly well preserved in the movie, though extensive editing chops out much of the text. I felt it was a good production, and I was certainly more entertained by the movie than by the play. Mendelssohn’s music was wonderful, and the fairie sequences which were all accompanied by this music were inspired magic. The ballet done in these scenes was gorgeous, and the way the fairies glided through the air was beautiful. The costuming of the female faeries, including that of Titantia, surprised me by its very suggestive, almost salacious, design. And Victor Jory as Oberon lent that role a dark creepiness which I found very appealing. All in all, these dreamlike scenes were for me the highlight of the movie. Theatrical release poster (hide spoiler)] Read any commentaries on the play that I have (view spoiler)[The only small bit on this play was the following note in the Coleridge book, which is taken from marginalia he wrote at I. i. 246 ff, where Helena betrays Hermia. Since it’s all I’ve got, I’ll quote the whole thing:I am convinced that Shakespeare availed himself of the title of the play in his own mind as a dream throughout, but especially (and perhaps unpleasingly) in this broad determination of ungrateful treachery in Helena, so undisguisedly avowed to herself, and this too after the witty cool philosophizing that precedes. The act is very natural; the resolve so to act is, I fear, likewise too true a picture of the lax hold that principles have on the female heart when opposed to, or even separated from, passion and inclination. For women are less hypocrites to their own minds than men, because they feel less abhorrence of moral evil in itself and more for its outward consequences, as detection, loss of character, etc., their natures being almost wholly extroitive. But still, however just, the representation is not poetical; we shrink from it and cannot harmonize it with the ideal …”extroitive?” (view spoiler)[From thefreedictionary.com: Ex`tro´i`tive a.1. Seeking or going out after external objects. “Their natures being almost wholly extroitive.” - Coleridge. Another sight gives the same definition and example. Is Coleridge the only person who ever used this word? (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] Write a review. (view spoiler)[ You just read it. Thanks. (hide spoiler)] I'd appreciate any advice you care to give on Problem 1 above! 8) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: Coleridge on Shakespeare Random review: Mile Failte a Goodreads amateur writing project Next review: 2014 on Goodreads a Goodreads imaginary book Previous library review: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second Next library review: The Life and Death of King John

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I’m sure there’s some keyboard commando all primed and ready just waiting for a chance to chime in about how “this isn’t Facebook” or “talk about books and don’t post stupid pictures.” To him/her/them I shall quote ol’ Bill himself and say . . . . Fucketh off with thee! Because I have read A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I’ve read it more than once. Originally I read it back in the stone age as a high schooler who opted for additional l Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I’m sure there’s some keyboard commando all primed and ready just waiting for a chance to chime in about how “this isn’t Facebook” or “talk about books and don’t post stupid pictures.” To him/her/them I shall quote ol’ Bill himself and say . . . . Fucketh off with thee! Because I have read A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I’ve read it more than once. Originally I read it back in the stone age as a high schooler who opted for additional literature classes as electives rather than other selections such as “Home Ec” and asked for things like this for Christmas, which although unattractive still holds a prime location on the ‘puter desk . . . . I’ve re-read it occasionally over the years because I enjoy the Shakespeare comedies *cough supernerd cough*. But I never loved it as much as I loved it last night when this happened . . . . And my baby boy made his acting debut as Francis Flute in a modernized in music/wardrobe, but not in content version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Yeah, this is a post that should probably go on Facebook, but I deleted that motherfucker and never looked back so you’re getting my proud momma moment here. Haters can eat a bag of weiners. (Additional tidbit: Robin Goodfellow (a/k/a “Puck” to those of you in the know) was played by a girl and she kicked allllllllllllllllllllllllllllll of the ass.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kat Kennedy

    It's still as awesome as I remember. Though, unfortunately, causes me some initial irritation with The Iron King. Robbie Goodfellow is a wicked spirit running around having fun and pulling ridiculous pranks. He's not a serious teenage boy who is dramatic and suspenseful or mysterious or sexy. Why do we have to turn everything into sexy these days? Why does every male character have to suddenly fit the romantic male archetype? Why are mythological creatures becoming obsessed with teenage girls?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” A 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. Love all the lead characters, by the way. ✔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 “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” A 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. Love all the lead characters, by the way. ✔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 everything →adaptation 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] here are my other Shakespeare thoughts: Hamlet - ★★★★★ Romeo & Juliet - ★★★☆☆ Midsummer - ★★★★★ Macbeth - ★★★★★ Much Ado - ★★★★★ Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cait • A Page with a View

    Fairies + Shakespeare is like the best mix ever.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    "The course of true love never did run smooth;" is a famous, often-quoted line - a truism throughout all ages and cultures. Where does it come from? It is spoken by a character called Lysander, in Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, and articulates possibly the play's most important theme. A Midsummer Night's Dream is a fanciful tale, full of poetry and beautiful imagery, such as, "I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with "The course of true love never did run smooth;" is a famous, often-quoted line - a truism throughout all ages and cultures. Where does it come from? It is spoken by a character called Lysander, in Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, and articulates possibly the play's most important theme. A Midsummer Night's Dream is a fanciful tale, full of poetry and beautiful imagery, such as, "I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:" and, "Weaving spiders, come not here; Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence! Beetles black, approach not near; Worm nor snail, do no offence." It is thought that A Midsummer Night's Dream was written between 1595 and 1596, probably just before Shakespeare wrote "Romeo and Juliet", although both underwent many revisions, both on-stage and off. And as with all Shakespeare's plays, it is impossible to be sure of any dates or an exact order. Unusually, the main plot seems to have been entirely his own invention, although some characters are drawn from Greek mythologies. Theseus, for instance, the Duke whom we learn at the start of the play is to marry the Amazon queen Hippolyta, is based on the Greek hero of the same name. Plus there are many references to Greek gods and goddesses in the play. The play is set in Athens, and there is a "play within a play" (a theme to which Shakespeare returned time after time) which is based on an epic poem by the Roman poet Ovid. The play also includes many English fairy characters such as "Puck" - or "Robin Goodfellow", to give him his alternative name. "Robin Goodfellow" is a particularly English figure, who was very popular in the sixteenth-century. Fairies had been very much respected and feared for time immemorial. People were in awe of their magical powers. They were believed to often be mischievous at the very least, if not positively malignant, and names such as "Goodfellow" were meant to appease or pacify them, so as not to incur their vengeance. The moon was a source of myth and mystery, to be wondered at and its influence possibly feared. Oberon's, "Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania" And Puck's, "Now it is the time of night, That the graves, all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite, In the church-way paths to glide:" are indicative of the audience's superstitions and the common beliefs of the time. Many such elements in Nature were viewed as supernatural; what we now term "pagan" was the norm, and although people were fascinated by the fairies and "little people", they also feared them. Puck's comment, "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" could be voiced by any fairy up to mischief. The woodland at night would be both enchanting and thrilling to an Elizabethan audience - an unpredictable place of danger and possible bewitchment. The fantastical atmosphere, and the magic of the surreal fairy sphere which Shakespeare conjures up, are important and unique elements of this play. The third component is the depiction of ordinary working trade and craftsmen in London of the time, and the theatrical conventions such as men playing the roles of women. The scenes where these foolish and absurd characters are involved provide much of the humour. They often make laughing stocks of themselves via Shakespeare, for our entertainment, and although much of this play seems strange and whimsical to a modern audience, it is classed as one of his comedies. It is completely different from any other of the plays which Shakespeare had written up to that point, although some of the themes present themselves again in "Romeo and Juliet", but given an entirely different emphasis and dramatic intent. One such theme is the ownership of females by their father. The play opens with Egeus asking for Theseus's support, in insisting that Hermia (Egeus's daughter) should marry whom he chooses, "As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death, according to our law" (The third choice, if his daughter refuses to do her father's bidding, is for her to live a life of chastity as a nun, worshipping the goddess Diana.) This was the prevailing ethos in Elizabethan times, and there is no question that a daughter was the legal property of her father. Additionally, a common justification for choosing a future husband for his daughter could be summed up in the idea that "love is blind". Egeus is not merely insisting on his rights as a father, but wants the best for his daughter, and according to the Elizabethan view, thinks that an arranged marriage is the best way of protecting her from any irrational romantic nonsense. Hermia herself is refusing to submit to her father's demands, as she is in love with Lysander. This theme, of a young girl's rebellion against her father, is against all conventions of the time, and is taken up with a devastating conclusion in "Romeo and Juliet." Shakespeare's own views on the power of love are unclear. Helena says, "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:" which could easily be the author's voice, and tends towards the opposite view. Perhaps one could speculate that this could have been the reason why he developed the idea further, to make a much more serious statement in his tragic play. A Midsummer Night's Dream, however, is a much more frivolous and fanciful affair. Not one love affair but three are intertwined throughout the play. Demetrius, whom Hermia has been commanded to wed, is in turn loved by Helena. So Hermia loves Lysander, and Lysander loves Hermia. Helena loves Demetrius - but Demetrius also loves Hermia rather than Helena. So one young woman has two suitors, the other none, but since four are involved the audience are hoping for a traditional "happy ending". In the meantime, there are plenty of chances for misunderstandings. As the play proceeds we are invited to laugh at this hapless group, in their lovelorn afflictions, rather than feel any true sympathy, because the whole affair is portrayed in such a light-hearted way, as opposed to the tragic story of young love, "Romeo and Juliet", which has probably not yet been completed. In that play there is tension throughout, and the sure knowledge, (as the audience had been told in the prologue) that there would be no happy outcome. Here we are free to poke fun at the young lovers' "torments", as we are fairly sure of everything ending happily. Other characters who become involved in the confusion are "Titania", queen of the fairies, and "Oberon" king of the fairies. Shakespeare has taken the character of "Titania" from Ovid's "Metamorphoses", and his "Oberon" may have been taken from the medieval romance "Huan of Bordeaux", translated by Lord Berners in the mid-1530s. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon is jealous of Titania's favourite, a changeling Indian child. She is keeping the child as a page, but Oberon wants to train him as a knight. All the young lovers from Athens, plus the main fairy characters, are in the woodland for various reasons at the same time. The woodland of course being also the realm of the fairies, much confusion is bound to follow. The audiences of the time will have greatly anticipated and appreciated this devilment, as "Robin Goodfellow"'s pranks and tricks will have been well known to them. To a modern audience, the events seem farcical, and the play does require quite a leap of faith to enjoy the fairytale whimsy of the woodland scenes. Nevertheless, the scenes of passion between the beautiful, graceful Titania and the clumsy Bottom, with a grotesque ass's head, are so incongruous that its humour is timeless and crosses any boundaries with ease. There are other "opposites" which tickle our funnybones even after so many centuries. Helena is tall, a "painted maypole", whereas Hermia is short, "though she be but little she is fierce," and both their scuffles and the enchanted lovers' declarations seem deliberately ridiculous in this context. They are overly earnest and serious - and followed immediately by joking, merry, clumsy workmen. All the fairies are ethereal, Titania being particularly beautiful; all the craftsmen earthy and clumsy, Bottom being particularly grotesque. Puck plays pranks, whereas Bottom is an easy and natural victim. Puck uses his magic with ease, whereas the craftsmen's attempts to stage their play is laborious and ridiculous by contrast. The incompetent acting troupe's enactment of the "play within a play", "Pyramus and Thisbe", is still humorous even now. Juxtaposing these extraordinary differences to exaggerate the contrast, meant that Shakespeare ensured laughs from his audience, while heightening the surreal fantastical elements. The idea of dreams is perhaps the central pivot of the play. Events happen in a haphazard fashion, and time seems to lose its normal motion and progress. No one in the woodland scenes is ever in control of their environment - even Puck makes mistakes with his love potions. He gleefully revels in such mistakes, "Lord, what fools these mortals be! ... "Then will two at once woo one, - That must needs be sport alone; And those things do best please me that befall preposterously." Yet Theseus and Hippolyta are always entirely in control of their rational world. The audience is given no explanation for the fantastical woodland sphere, with its illusions and fragile grip on reality. Shakespeare is clearly manipulating our sense of understanding throughout, inducing a dream-like feeling to the action. The love potions are magical or supernatural symbols of the power of love itself, inducing the same symptoms that true romantic lovers exhibit in their natural state, of unreasoning, fickle and erratic behaviour. No one who has been given a love potion in the play is able to resist it, much as falling in love appears to others to be inexplicable and irrational. Towards the end of the play we have a delightful rendering of the bumbling tradesmen's attempts to stage "Pyramus and Thisbe," which Shakespeare has taken from Ovid's epic poem "Metamorphoses". He also incidentally uses the plot again for "Romeo and Juliet", which seems quite bizarre, given the way it is used as a ludicrous farce here. Theseus and Hippolyta are well aware that the enactment of this play may be farcical and clumsy. They have been warned by Philostrate that the production is by "hard-handed men", (or as Puck calls them "rude mechanicals") and that their production is, "Merry and tragical! tedious and brief That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow" and this adds to their anticipation. And Theseus will welcome the diversion of such fancies. His wise words earlier, about his world of the rational, "Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends" could refer both to the action which we have seen so far, and the workmen's play we are about to see. The audience views this absurd little play through the eyes of Theseus and Hippolyta. The young Athenian lovers are also present, having been satisfactorily paired off, as we suspected they would be. Everyone is relaxing and poking fun at the hapless players, "This is the silliest stuff I ever heard" protests Hippolyta, but Bottom, the bumbling buffoon, breaks out of character every now and then, to earnestly assure his audience that all is as it is meant to be - they merely need to keep watching and they'll understand... Shakespeare has written their performance as a delicious satire of the overly melodramatic earlier actions of the young lovers, and recognising this makes it even more hilarious to the audience. The young Athenians' overpowering emotions are made to seem even more ridiculous by virtue of these clumsy actors and this provides a comic ending to the play. Since the Pyramus and Thisbe of the craftsmen's play were themselves facing parental disapproval, it encapsulates and echoes the whole play within which it is set. The final speech by Puck highlights the thematic idea of dreams. If the audience does not care for the play, he says, or if we have been offended by it, then he suggests it should be considered as nothing but a dream. It is interesting that the fairies are all still present as the wedding are about to take place. Shakespeare's message is not entirely clear here; it is as if he is merging the fairies and their magic with Theseus and Hippolyta's rational world. Perhaps it is to convey that we will never be free of the irrationalities and unpredictabilities of romantic love; either that or that the fairy folk will always be around us to create havoc. The workmen's play was mocked by Theseus and Hippolyta, perhaps the message is that human behaviour and ceremonies of the larger play, that is the real rational world, are unknowingly mocked by the fairy folk. Who knows? A Midsummer Night's Dream is not one of Shakespeare's greatest masterpieces. Although it remains popular and is staged quite regularly, this may be down to imaginative staging and the exceptional production values we now have. On the page it reads as an inconsequential play, all whimsy, candyfloss and fluff. It is both significant and noticeable, how Shakespeare revisited some of the themes here, in "Romeo and Juliet," but in that play he used them with such skill that he created an abiding and deeply tragic drama. In both plays we have the intoxicating and overwhelming influence of romantic love, the powerlessness of young women to rise up against their families and conventions, and the "potions" to influence a particular course of events; all those elements are here too, but combined to make a fantastical, frivolous, illusory bit of nonsense. However there is much beautiful poetic imagery in this play, such as, "My soul is in the sky" "Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;" "...by thy gracious, golden, glittering streams" and, "O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!" (even if this last is to an ass...) Yes, A Midsummer Night's Dream does provide a few smiles even now. And if your taste runs to flights of fancy; if you like to read tales of fairies such as Peas-Blossom, Cobweb, Moth and Mustard-Seed, using language and imagery such as, "Those be rubies, fairy favours, In those freckles live their savours:" "[I] heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back..." or "Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell: It fell upon a little western flower, Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, And maidens call it love-in-idleness" if you are attracted by gauzy fragility and a sense of illusion, then you may enjoy the fantasy and whimsy of Shakespeare's play. For as "The Bard" says, "... as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    if i had a professor who actually talked about this and made it interesting then im sure i wouldve liked it more but i was just like ?????????

  17. 5 out of 5

    Josh Caporale

    3.5 stars Sometimes, I feel that I just do not get Shakespeare! This particular explanation, for its face value, is neutral in its tone and execution, for this play is so absurd, but it almost seems like it is trying to be as such. While Shakespeare has been known to borrow his plots, I would say that his tragedies are better than his comedies in the way that the elements to his tragedies are a bit more original (or is it the fact that we have seen elements of his comedies time and time again). I 3.5 stars Sometimes, I feel that I just do not get Shakespeare! This particular explanation, for its face value, is neutral in its tone and execution, for this play is so absurd, but it almost seems like it is trying to be as such. While Shakespeare has been known to borrow his plots, I would say that his tragedies are better than his comedies in the way that the elements to his tragedies are a bit more original (or is it the fact that we have seen elements of his comedies time and time again). In a way, this was original, but I feel that the structure of who loves who and who everyone wants who to be with is something I am way too familiar. In this case, Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia, Hermia loves Lysander, Helena loves Demetrius, while Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and Egeus, Hermia's father, want Hermia to be with Demetrius. Meanwhile, Theseus turns to a group of workers, including Nick Bottom, to provide the entertainment. Bottom wants to play all of the parts in this play that they are planning to put on. There is also a group of fairies that mirror the participants in this play and Puck, who plays a key role in the many alterations of what takes place in this play. This is by no means my favorite Shakespeare play, but it is certainly unique! It is as organized as an episode of The Muppet Show and just as insane, but if that's what you like, then this is the play for you! You can find the Literary Gladiators discussion of this play (containing spoilers) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7Dm9...

  18. 5 out of 5

    peiman-mir5 rezakhani

    دوستانِ گرانقدر، این نمایشنامه در موردِ عشق و دلباختگی دو جوان اهلِ آتن میباشد.... دختری به نامِ <هرمیا> عاشقِ مردی بنامِ <لیزاندر> است، پدرِ دخترکِ زیبارو <اجوس> نام دارد. اجوس دخترش هرمیا را مجبور کرده است تا دست از عشق برداشته و با <دیمتریوس> که از ثروتمندانِ شهر است ازدواج کند. ولی هرمیا از دستور پدر سر باز میزند. بنابراین اجوس نزدِ <تزوس> دوکِ شهرِ آتن رفته و از دوک میخواهد تا از راه قانون با دخترش برخورد کند ... قانون آتن در آن روزگار این است که اگر دختری به ف ‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این نمایشنامه در موردِ عشق و دلباختگی دو جوان اهلِ آتن میباشد.... دختری به نامِ <هرمیا> عاشقِ مردی بنامِ <لیزاندر> است، پدرِ دخترکِ زیبارو <اجوس> نام دارد. اجوس دخترش هرمیا را مجبور کرده است تا دست از عشق برداشته و با <دیمتریوس> که از ثروتمندانِ شهر است ازدواج کند. ولی هرمیا از دستور پدر سر باز میزند. بنابراین اجوس نزدِ <تزوس> دوکِ شهرِ آتن رفته و از دوک میخواهد تا از راه قانون با دخترش برخورد کند ... قانون آتن در آن روزگار این است که اگر دختری به فرمانِ پدرِ خویش گوش ندهد، باید ترکِ دنیا کرده و سراسرِ عمر را در صومعه و دیری دور از شهر گذرانده و یا آنکه به مرگ تن در دهد ‎هرمیا و لیزاندر تصمیم میگیرند تا شبانه به جنگل رفته و از آنجا با یکدیگر از شهر بگریزند... هرمیا این موضوع را به دوستِ صمیمی خویش <هلنا> خبر میدهد... هلنا از آنجایی که دلباختهٔ دیمتریوس میباشد، بنابراین این موضوع را به وی اطلاع میدهد، بلکه اینگونه جایی در قلبِ او برایِ خود باز کند ‎شب فرا میرسد، هرمیا و لیزاندر به جنگل میروند... از سویِ دیگر دیمتریوس نیز به آنجا رفته و هلنا به دنبالِ دیمتریوس به جنگل میرود... در سویِ دیگرِ داستان، پریان در جنگل زندگی میکنند که شاهِ پریان <ابرون> نام داشته و ملکهٔ پریان <تیتانیا> نام دارد.... آن دو با یکدیگر بحث و دعوا دارند ... ابرون به منظورِ تنبیه کردنِ ملکه به دستیارش <پیک> دستور میدهد تا در زمانی که تیتانیا به خواب فرو رفته است، عصارهٔ "ریحانهٔ عشق" را در چشمِ او بچکاند.. این عصاره سبب میشود تا هنگامی که از خواب برمیخیزد، نخستین کسی را که ببیند، یک دل نه صد دل دلباختهٔ او شود ‎در همین گیر و دار است که ابرون صدای التماس کردنِ هلنا را در جنگل میشنود که عاجزانه عشق را از دیمتریوس گدایی میکند و دیمتریوس نیز او را از خود میراند....ابرون به پیک دستور میدهد تا زمانی که دیمتریوس به خواب فرو میرود عصاره را در چشمانش بچکاند تا هنگامی که دیده از خواب میگشاید، با دیدنِ هلنا، دلباختهٔ او شود ‎پیک به اشتباه عصاره را در چشمانِ لیزاندر میریزد و زمانی که از خواب برمیخیزد، اولین کسی را که میبیند هلنا میباشد و در نتیجه عاشقِ هلنا میشود و یارِ خویش یعنی هرمیا را فراموش میکند.... عزیزانم، بهتر است خودتان این نمایشنامهٔ زیبا را خوانده و از سرانجامِ این داستان عاشقانه و هیجان انگیز آگاه شوید **************************** ‎جمله ای از کتاب ‎در گلزارِ جهان، گلی که میسوزد و گلاب میشود، نیکبخت تر از آن گلی است که در رویِ خاری روییده و یکی دو روز میماند و سپس پژمرده میشود و میخشکد --------------------------------------------- ‎امیدوارم این ریویو در جهتِ آشنایی با این کتاب، کافی و مفید بوده باشه ‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mayy Wilde-Shakespeare

    "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind" I love this play so much. I love William Shakespeare more than life itself. Going into this I knew that 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' was going to be a little bit different from the other Shakespeare plays I’ve read. It had a lot fantasy aspects to it and a interesting combination between a comedy and a drama. It worked really well and made the whole play confusing in a good way, if that makes sense. Somethi "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind" I love this play so much. I love William Shakespeare more than life itself. Going into this I knew that 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' was going to be a little bit different from the other Shakespeare plays I’ve read. It had a lot fantasy aspects to it and a interesting combination between a comedy and a drama. It worked really well and made the whole play confusing in a good way, if that makes sense. Something I noticed was how much easier I found it to follow the plot. Yes there were notes and although they were REALLY helpful, I feel like I definitely could have managed without them. The characters were so diverse and interesting, which made the plot so much more funny and interesting. The characters and the relationship between the them is so ridiculous at times that it was difficult not to laugh out loud. This is one of my new favorites.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Antonio

    El enredo de los enredos, porque tener un triángulo amoroso, si puedes tener… ¿un cuadrado? ¿Un cuarteto? ¿Un rombo? Mmm algo se me ocurrirá. Es cierto lo que dicen sobre la obras de Shakespeare, son atemporales, así aun teniendo más de 400 años aprecie esta historia e incluso me saco unas cuantas risas, imaginen todos los personajes corriendo por el bosque declarando su amor eterno, y ni siquiera la hermosa reina de las hadas se ha salvado, y para escenificar lo que el mismo Shakespeare dijo P El enredo de los enredos, porque tener un triángulo amoroso, si puedes tener… ¿un cuadrado? ¿Un cuarteto? ¿Un rombo? Mmm algo se me ocurrirá. Es cierto lo que dicen sobre la obras de Shakespeare, son atemporales, así aun teniendo más de 400 años aprecie esta historia e incluso me saco unas cuantas risas, imaginen todos los personajes corriendo por el bosque declarando su amor eterno, y ni siquiera la hermosa reina de las hadas se ha salvado, y para escenificar lo que el mismo Shakespeare dijo Pero el amor puede transformar en belleza y dignidad cosas bajas y viles, porque no ve con los ojos, sino con la mente, y por eso pinta ciego a Cupido el alado. Ni tiene en su mente el amor señal alguna de discernimiento; como que las alas y la ceguera son signos de imprudente premura. Y por ella se dice que el amor es niño, siendo tan a menudo engañado en la elección. Se ha enamorado de… de… un cabeza de asno, literalmente. Así que si te gusta el romance, acá hay uno con fantasía y comedia disparatada, un romance clásico que serviría perfectamente si digamos estás haciendo un reto literario y no sabes qué libro de romance clásico leer, porque el romance no es lo tuyo y odias profundamente al que se le ocurrió incluirlo en el reto, porque de entre todos los géneros tenía que elegir ese... este...estoy divagando, solo les diré que seguro disfrutaran el cuadro amoroso -¡ja! les dije que se me ocurriría algo, no es de mis mejores ocurrencias pero sirve- y tengan cuidado con Puck

  21. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    The moon methinks looks with a wat’ry eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower” (Titania) Tomorrow night, when Phoebe doth behold Her silver visage in the watery glass, Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass. So quick bright things come to confusion (Lysander) Night and the ocean are the depthless things of the earth, where bright things come to confusion, become “undistinguishable, Like far-off mountains turned to clouds”. The unconscious, the sleep-world, the dream-world. Everywhere thro The moon methinks looks with a wat’ry eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower” (Titania) Tomorrow night, when Phoebe doth behold Her silver visage in the watery glass, Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass. So quick bright things come to confusion (Lysander) Night and the ocean are the depthless things of the earth, where bright things come to confusion, become “undistinguishable, Like far-off mountains turned to clouds”. The unconscious, the sleep-world, the dream-world. Everywhere throughout A Midsummer Night’s Dream the moon and water rule. Oberon’s world glimmers with moonstruck dew and the night’s wet flowers, dripping with the stuff of irreality- its residue permeates the stage. And what else sends a plague of fantasies across our minds? Love, jealousy, madness. “More strange than true”. “The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.” Because works of literature too are dreams, are fevered fantasies we inhabit strangely and temporarily like the other plane of the sleep-world. All of this is awaiting, well-prepared, as we enter A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Shakespeare has composed a universe with depths as deep-reaching as the Atlantic, the great Bottomless expanse to the west, over which Oberon once watched Cupid’s arrow arc. The lights come down in the theater. We are momentarily encapsulated in complete dusk. Before sleep our eyes are shuttered completely, and what power draws us into that black? Like a fairy’s flower working its magic. Our still bodies become vessels of the visions of that other world, and what happens there, on the stage, of little consequence to our physicality, an animated vision drawn and protracted out in rhythms, figures, symbols as old as language itself. The dream of the stage, the dream of the novel, dream of life. That the primary concerns of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are love, confusion, jealousy, and agency, are uniquely appropriate to this fantasy. Strong desire creates another irreality, unrequited desire creates distorted reality, jealousy tells its horrible lies to us, and our thoughts and bodies seem animated by some will other than our own. Is passion but a spell cast on us, twisting reason and sense, where we pursue our desired object astonished and half-blind, like in a dream? And the absurdities of our delusions in desire, are they not but the stuff of the utmost comedy? The influence of the full moon is the stuff of legend, myth, but also of proven fact. Agency. Magic. The moon exerts itself on the earth’s bodies of water, pulling them inland and out. The moon-mad howl in the bright night. In the forests shapeless things delineate themselves by the watery light of the moon. The glitter of dew on leaves glimmers like ice. Fairies carry little lights in the palms of their hands and lay us down to sleep on thyme and eglantine covered bowers. Love-in-idleness is dripped across the sleeping lovers’ brows. When Cupid’s potion has been administered, the love-mad are sent into frenzies at their waking sight. Men are the clowns of this earth, so all of this is very funny. All of this is very gentle and star-light and ephemeral and fleeting. As dew dries quickly once the morning has ascended, our dreams dissipate, and only through great effort do we keep them. Love too is brief and comes quickly to confusion, and our mercurial love that one day seems the direst need soon seems the most innocent delusion. As if we were players in a ridiculous play. A farce or satire of something more serious. Nick Bottom and Francis Flute and Tom Snout and Snug and Robin Starveling make a foolish thing of a deadly serious affair in their play within this play- they do no less than satirize one of their Master’s own masterworks, Romeo and Juliet. And the ass-headed weaver Nick Bottom, dreamer so deep that his body is lost, lover of the Faerie Queene, is the hammiest actor of them all. Those who fall deepest into their fantasies are the most foolish. But also the most fun to watch because they are, at least for the moment, other than us. In the end Puck sweeps away the dream dust. The dew-soaked stage by morning light is littered with the debris of the night’s phantasmagoria. The motes of man’s dreams of love are scattered and dispersed, and from the forest they have come to be with their true lovers, the events of the midsummer’s night dimly recalled as chimeras. The tragedy of love, love-in-death, the sorrows of Romeo and Juliet, are far from here; in A Midsummer Night’s Dream they are only the fools’ ill-prepared debacle of a play. Here there is no death, all is life, all is dream, the human comedy playing itself out, swimming before our slumbering eyes. Oberon. Thou rememb’rest Since once I sat upon a promontory And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath That the rude sea grew civil at her song, And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, To hear the sea-maid’s music? Robin. I remember.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Ibrahim

    " لا يكفي المرء أن يتكلم، بل المهم أن يتكلم جيدًا " واحدة من روائع شكسبير الكوميدية التي اعتمد فيها على نسيج معقد من ثلاث حبكات وثلاثة عوالم مختلفة.. يصور فيها زوجين من العشاق من أثينا، ومجموعة من العمال البسطاء من أهالي ريفها الذين يتدربون لتقديم عرضًا مسرحيًا في احتفال دوق أثينا وحبيبته بزواجهما، ويصور عالم الجن ومكله أوبيريون وملكة الجن تايتانا وخادمهم بك. يظهر شكسبير في هذه المسرحية العواطف التي تحكم البشر كلهم حتى الجن، كالحب والغيرة والكره أحيانًا... في قالب رائع تمتزج فيه الرومانسية بالكومي " لا يكفي المرء أن يتكلم، بل المهم أن يتكلم جيدًا " واحدة من روائع شكسبير الكوميدية التي اعتمد فيها على نسيج معقد من ثلاث حبكات وثلاثة عوالم مختلفة.. يصور فيها زوجين من العشاق من أثينا، ومجموعة من العمال البسطاء من أهالي ريفها الذين يتدربون لتقديم عرضًا مسرحيًا في احتفال دوق أثينا وحبيبته بزواجهما، ويصور عالم الجن ومكله أوبيريون وملكة الجن تايتانا وخادمهم بك. يظهر شكسبير في هذه المسرحية العواطف التي تحكم البشر كلهم حتى الجن، كالحب والغيرة والكره أحيانًا... في قالب رائع تمتزج فيه الرومانسية بالكوميديا المملوءة بالمعاني النبيلة. مسرحية رائعة.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    I can’t do it! This has nothing to do with Shakespeare or his lovely writing. I just can’t ever understand it! I think if I were to watch the movie and see a visual I would know what was going on!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Aww, this is a cute little play. Which is a pretty condescending thing to say about a work of Shakespeare, right? Except it’s true! A Midsummer Night’s Dream is an aDORable piece of literature with elves and fairies and potions and magic—not something I typically go for, and a definite far cry from his more serious tragedies. In this play, a woman suffers whose love for her man lies in contrast to her father’s wishes, he having already promised his daughter’s hand to another, and if she refuses t Aww, this is a cute little play. Which is a pretty condescending thing to say about a work of Shakespeare, right? Except it’s true! A Midsummer Night’s Dream is an aDORable piece of literature with elves and fairies and potions and magic—not something I typically go for, and a definite far cry from his more serious tragedies. In this play, a woman suffers whose love for her man lies in contrast to her father’s wishes, he having already promised his daughter’s hand to another, and if she refuses to go along with it she could face death—or worse!—life imprisonment at a convent. (Get thee to a nunnery!) But if two’s company and three’s a crowd, what maketh four? The man her father has promised her hand to is pursued by someone else, someone whom—at the start of the play, at least—NO MAN IS EVEN REMOTELY INTERESTED IN. Poor, sad second girl. Fortunately for her, though, there are sorcerous sprites who live nearby and attempt to assist her with the pitiful predicament of her one-sided love (which is, by the way, a horror show in its one-sidedness). Only in their ineptitude do things go dreadfully wrong for the first woman, who until that point at least had someone to love her back. Well, not anymore! Which makes you wonder...if someone is to have magical powers granted to him, shouldn’t he first be proven competent enough to use them? Anyway, I don’t mean to appear flippant. This play is very enjoyable. I really liked Theseus, the duke, who gives credit to those who try to please him even while they may not be terribly successful at it. Awkward delivery or not, their intent is recognized and appreciated by him. And that’s a pretty good way to be, I think.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liam

    What a wonderful yet messed up play this was, thoroughly enjoyed it! Absolutely loved the setting, the language and the element of fantasy within the story. It was comical yet still had potential to be a tale of tragedy and I think that's why I enjoyed it so much. It keeps you on your toes and the story goes round in circles but it reached a satisfactory resolution! For me, Shakespeare is a bit hit or miss but I really did enjoy this one!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    Just saw a performance of this and it has me all nostalgic. This has meddling fairies, ridiculous lovers and a donkey named Bottom. What's not to love? Also fun fact, I played Titania once. I was volunteering as a stage hand when then original chick who was cast dropped out and so did her understudy and there I was organizing props back stage. (Was this my Disney-channel moment? Did I miss my cue??) Oh yeah, it was also a Jersey Shore remix for some reason. ("A Midsummer Jersey" iirc) So to this Just saw a performance of this and it has me all nostalgic. This has meddling fairies, ridiculous lovers and a donkey named Bottom. What's not to love? Also fun fact, I played Titania once. I was volunteering as a stage hand when then original chick who was cast dropped out and so did her understudy and there I was organizing props back stage. (Was this my Disney-channel moment? Did I miss my cue??) Oh yeah, it was also a Jersey Shore remix for some reason. ("A Midsummer Jersey" iirc) So to this day when someone starts talking with a Jersey accent I have to fight the urge to panic and scream at Oberon. I recommend this version a lot more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Councillor

    An entertaining and amusing tale, filled with an inexhaustible richness of symbolicism, atmosphere and verbal complexity. After having seen Shakespeare as a writer of tragic and twisted stories dealing with death and schemes as major leitmotifs for many years, a light-hearted story like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" proved to be exactly the right one to convince me of the direct opposite: that Shakespeare can also masterfully create romantic comedies full of amusing allusions.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. The Physics of the Impossible: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare, Burton Raffel, Harold Bloom   I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was— there is no man can tell what. Methought I was—and methought I had—but man is but a patch’d fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. The Physics of the Impossible: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare, Burton Raffel, Harold Bloom   I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was— there is no man can tell what. Methought I was—and methought I had—but man is but a patch’d fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. (4.1.203–212)   (Paraphrase: I had the strangest dream. It is outside of the abilities of mankind to explain it: a man is as foolish as a donkey if he tries to about to expound this dream. Methought I was—there explain the dream of mine. I thought I was – well no one can really say what exactly. I thought I was – and I methought I had, -- but man is but a patched fool, if thought I had – but someone would be an idiot to say what I thought I had).   I remember watching the play for the first time in Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra in 2002 (staged by Rui Mário). Shakespeare has always been an over-riding need for me. I don't have the ability to act, though I do write betimes, but there's nothing like the thrill of a life performance, like the one I watched in 2002.   The rest of this review can be found elsewhere.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)

    Oh, I loved this so much. It's charming and fun and hilarious and silly but it has a lot of heart- it's not just an empty comedy. There's wit and some really great observations on flights of fancy and the ridiculous things humans will do (with or without the help of forest nymphs) in the name of love. Also, an enchanted forest has got to be one of my favourite settings of all time, the heady summer air and a sense of magic really seeped through the pages. Two of my favourite quotes, both by Robin Oh, I loved this so much. It's charming and fun and hilarious and silly but it has a lot of heart- it's not just an empty comedy. There's wit and some really great observations on flights of fancy and the ridiculous things humans will do (with or without the help of forest nymphs) in the name of love. Also, an enchanted forest has got to be one of my favourite settings of all time, the heady summer air and a sense of magic really seeped through the pages. Two of my favourite quotes, both by Robin Goodfellow a.k.a. Puck (and I'm reciting from memory here, so bear with me): "If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended. That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear, And this weak and idle theme; No more yielding but a dream..." "Captain of our fairy band, Helena is here at hand And the youth, mistook by me Pleading for a lover's fee. Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

  30. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    Yey! The very first Shakespeare that I read from cover to cover! Sneer if you have to but I graduated from a low-standard high school in a small island in the Pacific. The only dramatization that we did was Leon Ma. Guerrero's My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife. I played the lead role of Leon, the young farmer, though. In college, I took up a paramedical course in the city and we had World Lit but we only read mimeographed copies of Shakespeare sonnets. I still remember the term iambic pentamer Yey! The very first Shakespeare that I read from cover to cover! Sneer if you have to but I graduated from a low-standard high school in a small island in the Pacific. The only dramatization that we did was Leon Ma. Guerrero's My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife. I played the lead role of Leon, the young farmer, though. In college, I took up a paramedical course in the city and we had World Lit but we only read mimeographed copies of Shakespeare sonnets. I still remember the term iambic pentamer but don't ask me to explain what that means since it was almost 30 years ago. Since then, Shakespeare works seem to be too classy for me to read. I thought that I would never find myself reading this book or any of his plays for that matter. So this is how a Shakespeare's play looks like? I say it's awesome. Midsummer Night's Dream is composed of 4 stories interwoven into the play: (1) The story of the Duke of Athens, Theseus and his fiancée, the Queen of the Amazons, Hipolita; (2) The story of the entangled lovers - two young men Lysander and Demetrius in love with Hermia who is only in love with Lysander. She has a friend, Helena who is in love with Demetrius; (3) The story of the artisan men who are to present a long short play about young Pyramus and his lover Thisbe to Theseus and Hipolita; and (4) The story of the fairies Oberon and Titania and the series of blunders committed by Puck (Robin Goodfellow) in using the "love-in-idleness," i.e., the juice of the flower Pansy that is put in one's eyelid while he or she is asleep and will make one go crazy in love with the first person one sees upon waking up. It is crazy funny how Puck commits mistakes and the rendezvous of the characters. It's good that my edition of the book has both the Shakespeare original text and its modern version. The Introduction suggests that I should read both for me to appreciate Shakespeare's poetic expressions. So, I did and found it wonderful. I still prefer the original texts though although of course, it is harder to understand. And the theme? Obviously, it's all about love. Of course, I know that Romeo and Juliet is about two young lovers who committed suicide. I just did not know, or maybe did not have time to know, that there are many other lovers in WS plays. My friend, who obviously studied in a better high school, says that she played a part in the dramatization of this play when she was in 4th year high. Judging from her avatar, I would think that she should have played the lead roles of Hermia or Titania for she looks pretty and, based on her reviews and comments here in Goodreads, definitely smart. Those roles are far more sophisticated compared to mine, playing the farmer Leon, but it is not too late for me to get acquainted with Shakespeare's characters, right?

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