DEMETRIUS: I love Hermia! HERMIA: I want to marry Lysander but I'm already engaged to Demetrius and he won't leave me alone! TITANIA: Hey Oberon, I got a new Indian baby from one of my dead servants. HELENA: I'm lost in the woods and for some reason Demetrius likes me now! DEMETRIUS AND LYSANDER: We're lost in the woods and WE LOVE HELENA OMG. HELENA: I love Demetrius! TITANIA: I love Oberon!
Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to A Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy written in 1595 by William Shakespeare. If you want to read a comedy, this would be one of the top 3. here's the scoop: I read A LOT.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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 cupids potion. (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. 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. 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. This is not to diminish the play, which I fully concur with Shakespeare is indeed a Bottoms Dream since it has no bottom in the wealth of meaning to be mined from it.
okay, actually, hes doing his best, hes just like, really bad at everything adaptation thoughts Okay, first of all, may I just say: I wont 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.
also, this play felt so short. I think this is one of the plays you really need to see performed, rather than read it.
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.