Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM


Shakespeare is argued to have produced a large collection of work, including 38 plays and 154 sonnets. His plays are divided into four main sections: the Histories, the Tragedies, the Comedies, and the Romances. 
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a Comedy, even though it does have some elements of the magical Romance genre. His work has been produced since the Renaissance in all artistic mediums from the original theatre to opera, symphony, film, and ballet. It has also been revisited countless times by the same artistic medium because it is said to be timeless. Shakespeare's topics are about love, hate, murder, jealousy, miscommunication, chastity, history, and even magic. 
A Midsummer Night's Dream includes the classic elements of Shakespeare's comedies. It has a framing structure, with the Athenian world opening and closing the play, has a complex  plot using magic and fantasy, has a happy ending, and uses a major character as comic relief, so to speak. Most of Shakespeare's plays use this character of the clown, jester, or commoner to spark slapstick laughter. Bottom and his players qualify to this  kind of character in the play. Also, these lower-class characters speak in prose, not in poetry (iambic pentameter), like the rest of Shakespeare's characters.
This play is a combination of various  plots:  the Athenian lovers Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius; the king of the fairies, Oberon who is at odds with his wife, Titania, because she refuses to relinquish control of a young Indian prince whom he wants for a knight and the band of Athenian craftsmen rehearsing the play Pyramus and Thisbe that they hope to perform for Theseus, duke of Athens, who is preparing for his marriage to Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Through these three plots, the common thread is the illustration of the ridiculous behaviour of lovers of every sort, every creature, and every class  -  it seems love is a wholly irrational passion, the slave of whim and fancy. On the contrary, the duke of Athens, engaged to Hippolyta, represents power and order throughout the play; he appears only at the beginning and end of the story, removed from the dreamlike events of the forest.

A Midsummer Night's Dream was written in 1595 and performed most likely for Queen Elizabeth  I and her court.
Here  you can find the full text of the play.  









Here  you can download a PDF presentation of the play.
Now let's see some videos of  this delightful comedy.



Click here to watch an interesting post-show Q&A  from Sydney Opera House with the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

No comments: