Thursday, March 5, 2020

British Drama - A Midsummer Night's Dream Summary, Character, Theme


A Midsummer Night's Dream

About A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is first mentioned by Francis Meres in 1598, leading many scholars so far the play between 1594 and 1596. it's likely to possess been written round the same period Romeo and Juliet was created. Indeed, many similarities exist between the 2 plays, such a lot that A Midsummer Night's Dream sometimes seems likely to degenerate into an equivalent tragic ending that befalls Romeo and Juliet.


The play was first printed in quarto in 1600, following its entry into the Stationer's Register on October 8, 1600. This quarto is nearly surely taken directly from a manuscript written by Shakespeare. A second quarto was printed in 1619 (and falsely backdated to 1600) and attempted to correct a number of the errors within the first printing, but also introduced several new errors. it's the second quarto which served because the basis for the primary Folio in 1623.
There is a myth that A Midsummer Night's Dream was first performed for a personal audience after an actual wedding had taken place. The play's three wedding and play-within-a-play Pyramus and Thisbe certainly would appear to suit the scene, with all the newlyweds retiring to their respective chambers at the top . However, no evidence of this imagined performance exists. Rather, A Midsummer Night's Dream was definitely performed on the London stage by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and therefore the page of the primary Quarto indicates it had been written by Shakespeare .


The title draws on the June 21 , Midsummer Eve , occurring Midsummer Eve and marked by holiday partying and tales of fairies and temporary insanity. Shakespeare cleverly weaves together not only fairies and lovers, but also social hierarchies with the aristocratic Theseus and therefore the "rude mechanicals," or the artisans and dealing men. this enables the play to become infinitely more lyrical, since it's ready to draw on the more brutal language of the lower classes also because the poetry of the noblemen.
One of the more interesting changes which Shakespeare introduces is that the concept of small, kind fairies. Puck , the spirit referred to as Puck, is assumed to possess once been feared by villagers. History indicates the before Elizabethan times, fairies were considered evil spirits who stole children and sacrificed them to the devil. Shakespeare, along side other writers, redefined fairies during this point period, turning them into gentle, albeit mischievous, spirits.


The final act of the play, completely unnecessary in reference to the remainder of the plot, brings to light a standard fear of the Elizabethan theater, namely that of censorship. Throughout the play the lower artisans, who wish to perform Pyramus and Thisbe, attempt to corrupt the plot and assure the audience that the play isn't real which they have not fear the actions happening . This culminates within the actual ending, during which Puck suggests that if we don't just like the play, then we should always merely consider it to possess been a dream. one among the foremost remarkable features of A Midsummer Night's Dream is that at the top members of the audience are unsure whether what they need seen is real, or whether or not they have woken up after having shared an equivalent dream. this is often in fact precisely what Shakespeare wants to form clear, namely that stage is nothing quite a shared dream. Hence the constant interruption of that dream within the Pyramus and Thisbe production, which serves to spotlight the synthetic aspect of stage . Bottom and his company offer us not only Pyramus and Thisbe as a product of our imagination, but the whole play also .


Puck's suggestion hides a more serious aspect of the comic fun of the play. there's deep underlying sexual tension between the male and feminine characters, witnessed by Oberon's attempts to humiliate Titania and Theseus' conquest of Hippolyta. This tension is rapidly dissipated by the sure solution which the play assumes, making it seem less real. However, the darker side of the play shouldn't be ignored, nor the rapid mobility with which the actors transfer their amorous desires from one person to the opposite .

A Midsummer Night's Dream Character List
1.      Theseus: the Duke of Athens.
2.      Hippolyta: the Queen of the Amazons and betrothed to Theseus.


3.      Philostrate: the Master of the Revels to Theseus.
4.      Egeus: the father of Hermia.
5.      Hermia: the daughter of Egeus and crazy with Lysander.
6.      Lysander: the man loved by Hermia.
7.      Demetrius: a suitor to Hermia.
8.      Helena: a close friend of Hermia and crazy with Demetrius.


9.      Oberon: King of the Fairies.
10.  Titania: the wife of Oberon and therefore the Queen of the Fairies.
11.  Robin Goodfellow, a puck: a mischievous fairy who causes much of the confusion within the play.
12.  Peaseblossom: a fairy.
13.  Cobweb: a fairy.
14.  Mote: a fairy.
15.  Mustardseed: a fairy.
16.  Peter Quince: a carpenter and one among the artisans.
17.  Nick Bottom: a weaver who is transformed into an ass by Puck.
18.  Francis Flute: a bellows-mender and one among the artisans.
19.  Tom Snout: a tinker and one among the artisans.
20.  Snug: a joiner.
21.  Robin Starveling: a tailor.




A Midsummer Night's Dream Summary

A Midsummer Night's Dream takes place in Athens. Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is planning his marriage with Hippolyta, and as a result he's a planning an outsized festival. Egeus enters, followed by his daughter Hermia, her beloved Lysander, and her suitor Demetrius. Egeus tells Theseus that Hermia refuses to marry Demetrius, wanting instead to marry Lysander. He asks for the proper to punish Hermia with death if she refuses to obey.


Theseus agrees that Hermia's duty is to obey her father, and threatens her with either entering a nunnery or marrying the person her father chooses. Lysander protests, but is overruled by the law. He and Hermia than plan to flee by night into the woods surrounding Athens, where they will escape the law and obtain married. They tell their decide to Helena, a woman who is head over heels in love with Demetrius. Hoping to realize favor with Demetrius, Helena decides to inform him about the plan.
Some local artisans and workmen have decided to perform a play for Theseus as how to celebrate his wedding. They choose Pyramus and Thisbe for his or her play, and meet to assign the roles. Nick Bottom gets the role of Pyramus, and Flute takes the a part of Thisbe. They comply with meet subsequent night within the woods to rehearse the play.
Robin Goodfellow, a puck, meets a fairy who serves Queen Titania. He tells the fairy that his King Oberon is within the woods, which Titania should avoid Oberon because they're going to quarrel again. However, Titania and Oberon soon arrive and start arguing a few young boy Titania has stolen and is caring for. Oberon demands that she give him the boy, but she refuses.
Oberon decides to play a trick on Titania and put some pansy juice on her eyes. The magical juice will make her fall crazy with person she sees upon awakening . Soon after Puck is shipped away to fetch the juice, Oberon overhears Demetrius and Helena within the woods.
Demetrius deserts Helena within the forest, leaving her alone. Oberon decides that he will change this example , and commands Robin to place the juice onto Demetrius's eyes when he's sleeping. He then finds Titania and drops the juice onto her eyelids. Robin goes to seek out Demetrius, but instead comes across Lysander and accidentally uses the juice on him.


By accident Helena comes across Lysander and wakes him up. He immediately falls crazy together with her and starts to chase her through the woods. Together they arrive where Oberon is watching, and he realizes the error . Oberon then puts the pansy juice onto Demetrius's eyelids, who upon awakening also falls crazy with Helena. She thinks that the 2 men try to torment her for being crazy with Demetrius, and becomes furious at their protestations of affection .
The workmen arrive within the woods and begin to practice their play. They constantly ruin the lines of the play and mispronounce the words. Out of fear of censorship, they plan to make the play less realistic. Therefore the lion is meant to announce that he's not a lion, but only a standard man. Bottom also feels obliged to inform the audience that he's not really getting to die, but will only pretend to try to to so. Puck, watching this silly scene, catches Bottom alone and puts an asses head on him. When Bottom returns to his troupe, they run away out of fear. Bottom then comes across Titania, and succeeds in waking her up. She falls crazy with him thanks to the juice on her eyes, and takes him together with her .



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Lysander and Demetrius prepare to fight each other for Helena. Puck intervenes and leads them through the woods in a circle until they collapse onto the bottom in exhaustion. He then brings the 2 women to same area and puts them to sleep also .
Oberon finds Titania and releases her from the spell. He then tells the audience that Bottom will think is all a dream when he wakes up. He further releases Lysander from the spell. Theseus arrives with a hunting party and finds the lovers stretched on the bottom . He orders the hunting horns blown so as to wake them up.
The lovers explain why they're within the woods, at which point Egeus demands that he be allowed to exercise the law on Hermia. However, Demetrius intervenes and tells them that he not loves Hermia, but rather only loves Helena. Theseus decides to overbear Egeus and let the lovers marry that day with him. Together they return to Athens.
Bottom wakes up and thinks that he has dreamed the whole episode. He swiftly returns to Athens where he meets his friends. Together they head over to Theseus's palace. Theseus looks over the list of possible entertainment for that evening and settles on the play of Pyramus and Thisbe. Bottom and therefore the remainder of his company perform the play, after which everyone retires to bed.
Puck arrives and starts to comb the house clean. Oberon and Titania briefly bless the couples and their future children. After they leave Puck asks the audience to forgive the actors is that they were offended. He then tells the audience that if anyone disliked the play, they ought to imagine that it had been only a dream.

Shakespearean Theater

Before Shakespeare¹s time and through his boyhood, troupes of actors performed wherever they might ­ in halls, courts, courtyards, and the other open spaces available. However, in 1574, when Shakespeare was ten years old, the Common Council passed a law requiring plays and theaters in London to be licensed. In 1576, actor and future Lord Chamberlain's Man, James Burbage, built the primary permanent theater, called "The Theatre", outside London city walls. After this more theaters were established, including the world Theatre, which was where most of Shakespeare's plays premiered.


Elizabethan theaters were generally built after the planning of the first Theatre. Built of wood, these theaters comprised three tiers of seats during a circular shape, with a stage area on one side of the circle. The audience's seats and a part of the stage were roofed, but much of the most stage and therefore the area ahead of the stage within the center of the circle were hospitable the weather . About 1,500 audience members could pay extra cash to take a seat within the covered seating areas, while about 800 "groundlings" paid less money to face during this open area before the stage.
The stage itself was divided into three levels: a main stage area with doors at the rear and a curtained area within the back for "discovery scenes"; an upper, canopied area called "heaven" for balcony scenes; and a neighborhood under the stage called "hell," accessed by a door within the stage. there have been dressing rooms located behind the stage, but no curtain within the front of the stage, which meant that scenes had to flow into one another , and "dead bodies" had to be dragged off. Performances happened during the day, using natural light from the open center of stage . Since there might be no dramatic lighting and there was little or no scenery or props, audiences relied on the actors' lines and stage directions to provide the time of day and year, the weather, location, and mood of the scenes.
Shakespeare's plays masterfully supply this information . as an example , in Hamlet the audience learns within the primary twenty lines of dialogue where the scene takes place ("Have you had quiet guard?"), what time of day it's ("'Tis now strook twelf"), what the weather is like ("'Tis bitter cold"), and what mood the characters are in ("and i'm sick at heart").


One important difference between plays written in Shakespeare's time and people written today is that Elizabethan plays were published after their performances, sometimes even after their authors' deaths, and were in some ways a record of what happened on stage during these performances instead of directions for what should happen. Actors were allowed to suggest changes to scenes and dialogue and had far more freedom with their parts than actors today. Shakespeare's plays are not any exception. In Hamlet, for instance, much of the plot revolves round the incontrovertible fact that Hamlet writes his own scene to be added to a play so as to ensnare his murderous father.

Shakespeare's plays were published in various forms and with a good sort of accuracy during his time. The discrepancies between versions of his plays from one publication to subsequent make it difficult for editors to place together authoritative editions of his works. Plays might be published in large anthologies called Folios (the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays contains 36 plays) or smaller Quartos. Folios were so named due to the way their paper was folded in half to form chunks of two pages each which were sewn together to form an outsized volume. Quartos were smaller, cheaper books containing just one play. Their paper was folded twice, making four pages. generally , the primary Folio is of higher quality than the quartos. Therefore, plays that are printed within the First Folio are much easier for editors to compile.


Shakespeare's language and classical references seem archaic to some modern readers, they were commonplace to his audiences. His viewers came from all classes, and his plays appealed to all or any sorts of sensibilities, from "highbrow" accounts of kings and queens of old to the "lowbrow" blunderings of clowns and servants. Even his most tragic plays include clown characters for comic relief and to discuss the events of the play. Audiences would are conversant in his numerous references to mythology and literature, since these stories were staples of the Elizabethan knowledge domain .


While Shakespeares plays appealed to all or any levels of society and included familiar story lines and themes, they also expanded his audiences' vocabularies. Many phrases and words that we use today, like "amazement," "in my imagination ," and "the milk of human kindness" were coined by Shakespeare. His plays contain a greater variety and number of words than almost the other add English language, showing that he was quick to innovate, had an enormous vocabulary, and was curious about using new phrases and words.



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