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  1. A Midsummer Night's Dream
  2. 1 Introduction
  3. The Mechanicals | Shakespeare Comes Alive!

A comedy is not empty of meaning. Shakespeare's last play is The Tempest and it is regarded as his testament for prosperity. Ariel is a kind of fairy, like Puck. Both plays have the same background of magic and fairies, and the episodes lead to a moral favol as an explanation of life's mysteries: the surface of events and the meaning of events more important. A Midsummer's Night Dream is one of Shakespeare's most leaned plays. Lots of information he took here and there:. Shakespeare put together all those apparently defragmented pieces to create an entirely original plot, which looks like a patchwork.

His genius resides in the creation of something new in spite of the diversity of the elements. It was the age of Reason and Enlightenment and the play had too little reason.


A Midsummer Night's Dream

Chesterton called it "the greatest of Shakespeare's plays". Why was it so popular? Because it was most frequently performed and gave a lot of possibilities for stage directions. Shakespeare introduced a lot of singing and music so that it was easier for the audience and the actors to enjoy the play. It is a comedy in which one past is hilarious but also a play with lots of ambiguities position of women, position of the State. It is also a play with an usual modern dimension sexual references.

It usually defines the setting and the characters and foreshadows what will come next. It can be divided into 2 parts:. The Duke of Athens: enables Shakespeare to write about a very solemn character, a member of the royalty: he starts from the top characters to the lower characters. Egeus is a well know name for it belongs to mythology although we may wonder if he is the same as the mythological Egeus.

At least it rings with it. There is no date: the Athens we are presented with is not 16th century but related to antiquity.

1 Introduction

It is not obvious how much the audience is aware about that: it addresses an educated audience. We are given one aspect of Theseus the statesman , far from the mythological killer of beasts.

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He suggests authority and love, and has 2 dimensions: the statesman public image and the personal impending marriage private. The theme of marriage is present in the very first sentence. Hippolyta is the Queen of the Amazons. She has been vanquished by Theseus in one of his military fights: " I wooed her with my sword " : she was captured by him.

William Shakespeare

We may question this relationship: it has to do with power and not love the alliteration in "w" is not accidental. Time: 4 happy days. The scene tells the audience that the wedding is due to take place in 4 days. In fact the play would last two days and one night. Egeus' complaint is the story of a rebelling daughter, it is almost a monologue, deeply anchored in the myth of vexation: the rhetorical inversions are a way of giving more strength to vexation.

It is about a father:daughter relationship. Theme of rivalry between the 2 young men Demetrius and Lysander:.

The Mechanicals | Shakespeare Comes Alive!

Assuming that a wild beast has killed her, Pyramus kills himself, falling on his sword, a typical Babylonian way to commit suicide, and in turn splashing blood on the white mulberry leaves. Pyramus' blood stains the white mulberry fruits, turning them dark. Thisbe returns, eager to tell Pyramus what had happened to her, but she finds Pyramus' dead body under the shade of the mulberry tree. Thisbe, after a brief period of mourning, stabs herself with the same sword. In the end, the gods listen to Thisbe's lament, and forever change the colour of the mulberry fruits into the stained colour to honour the forbidden love.

Ovid's is the oldest surviving version of the story, published in 8 AD, but he adapted an existing etiological myth. While in Ovid's telling Pyramus and Thisbe lived in Babylon and Ctesias had placed the tomb of his imagined king Ninus near that city, the myth probably originated in Cilicia part of Ninus' Babylonian empire as Pyramos is the historical Greek name of the local Ceyhan River. The metamorphosis in the primary story involves Pyramus changing into this river and Thisbe into a nearby spring.

A 2nd-century mosaic unearthed near Nea Paphos on Cyprus depicts this older version of the myth. The story of Pyramus and Thisbe appears in Giovanni Boccaccio 's On Famous Women as biography number twelve sometimes thirteen [2] and in his Decameron , in the fifth story on the seventh day, where a desperate housewife falls in love with her neighbor, and communicates with him through a crack in the wall, attracting his attention by dropping pieces of stone and straw through the crack.

Gower altered the story somewhat into a cautionary tale.

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  • The play within the play: Ovid's "Metamorphoses" and Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream";
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  • John Metham's Amoryus and Cleopes is another early English adaptation. The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet ultimately sprang from Ovid's story. Here the star-crossed lovers cannot be together because Juliet has been engaged by her parents to another man and the two families hold an ancient grudge. As in Pyramus and Thisbe, the mistaken belief in one lover's death leads to consecutive suicides.

    The earliest version of Romeo and Juliet was published in by Masuccio Salernitano , while it mostly obtained its present form when written down in by Luigi da Porto. Salernitano and Da Porto both are thought to have been inspired by Ovid and Boccaccio's writing. Their production is crude and, for the most part, badly done until the final monologues of Nick Bottom , as Pyramus and Francis Flute , as Thisbe.

    The theme of forbidden love is also present in A Midsummer Night's Dream albeit a less tragic and dark representation in that a girl, Hermia , is not able to marry the man she loves, Lysander , because her father Egeus despises him and wishes for her to marry Demetrius , and meanwhile Hermia and Lysander are confident that Helena is in love with Demetrius. The story was adapted by John Frederick Lampe as a "Mock Opera" in , containing a singing "Wall" which was described as "the most musical partition that was ever heard.