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Athenian Times MSND
Transcript of Athenian Times MSND
By Alyssa Cho
What Is Love?
Word Cloud Analysis
What is love? A concept, a theory, a religion, an emotion? Since ancient times, people have struggled to comprehend what this mysterious force that binds together is. Some say it's a product of the soul, that mysteriously immortal entity the flesh serves as a medium for. Others say that our loves and feelings are controlled by destiny, the doing of a greater power above us. However, there is one thing about love we can't deny: it's been one of the most influential factors on human behavior, and has and will continue to shape the course of human history. However, as it turns out, love is not as quixotic as the poets and romance authors would have us believe; in fact, love is juts a simple chemical cocktail in the brain that briefly influences our behavior. Therefore, people in love cannot control their decisions made while in love.
In Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the fairy king Oberon sends his henchman, the fairy Puck, to fetch a flower which was also a powerful aphrodisiac: when the juice of the flower was sprinkled in a person's eyes, that person would fall in love with the next person they saw. Although in Shakespeare's work the flower's magical powers had been granted by a piercing from one of Cupid's magical arrows, science may be on the verge of creating a substance that could have the same effect. For hundreds of years already, people have experimented with natural aphrodisiacs, from oysters to chocolate, but there has been no surefire method, no guaranteed way to make someone love you. Love has remained a continual enigma to the human race, and as such has been perjured as a magical, mystic force, capable of working great wonders. Children's cartoon shows extol the power of love, and we are raised believing in the power of determination and love. However, the reality behind love is quite different. You can argue all you want about how love is something that cannot be comprehended by science, that it's a mystical force of the human being, that it's sentimental value is something that defies logic, but however many points you make, the simple truth remains: love is just a series of chemicals in the brain. It's not the first time a revelation like this has emerged. In ancient times, Aristotle believed the brain to be useless, saying the heart (the actual organ) was the source of all human thought. Our sentimentalist concept of love is just as far-fetched: based on speculation and ideals, not true science.
There are some, however, with an accurate description of what love is. In a paper published in "Nature" magazine a few years ago, Professor Larry Brown of Emory University reveals that in a study, he and his team discovered that love and affectionate feelings were caused by a few key chemicals being released in the brain, most notably oxytocin and vasopressin. These chemicals were found to be present in quite a few other animals, from prairie voles to elephants, and always caused feelings of attachment. It's already a well-known phenomenon that people in love are not very good at controlling their actions (why else would the process be called "FALLING in love"?), because they themselves, both biologically and mentally, are not meant to resist the pangs of love. (Which, for the record, comes in six different types, all with varying degrees of attraction attributed to them.) When people in love experience those elated emotions only being around the people they love can produce, the parts of the brain making up the rewards system are set aflame. Powerful chemicals like dopamine and phenylethylamine are released, causing feelings of emotional uplift and strong, frantic desire. What we may interpret as evidence of our love for someone is simply just a chemical reaction caused by mental attachment to that person. However mysterious love may seem, it in the end will remain a simple product of science, nothing more.
June 23, 39
Allusions in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Decoding the words of Shakespeare in a modern-day context, by Allen Huang
Vol. XXXIX, No. 39
Theme Tracker CEE Paragraphs
A couple searching for love in Sofia's central mall, Bulgaria. Source: The Guardian
One of the oldest and most treasured facets of middle- and high-school life is Shakespeare. No school experience is quite complete without those agonizingly long hours of endlessly rereading and paraphrasing those ten-syllable lines that are really quite needlessly florid and hard to understand. And yet, getting past the strange fact that Shakespeare wasn't executed for causing a sudden influx of nonsensical, boring texts in the world and the disastrous events caused, it is an inevitable fact that we, as middle school students, have no escape from the harshly mind-racking task of deciphering for ourselves the texts of the playwright that have felled so many faithful students from school before. As our group worked through the annotation document, one of the most basic obstacles we encountered was the sheer outdatedness of the words. As we all know, Shakespeare lived over 500 years ago, and man of the words he uses are simply incomprehensible to modern English speakers (there's a reason so many countries have a "classical" language class and a "modern" language class). Another obstacle we encountered was that the words were arranged in peculiar ways. For example, Hermia states that "before I did Lysander see, Athens seemed as a paradise to me..." (I.ii.204-205), which in modern-day English is obviously grammatically incorrect, containing an inversion of words reminiscent of that of Master Yoda's from "Star Wars". Techniques that worked (besides accessing a SparkNotes translation) were simply looking up definitions of Shakespearean words and recognizing basic patterns of Shakespeare, such as his tendency to invert objects and verbs. In conclusion, although decoding our part from "A Midsummer Night's Dream' was every bit as arduous and tiring as we had imagined (and then some), we found it to be a very educational experience.
"Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'd give to be to you translated."
Act I Scene I. Lines
Helena would give Hermia the whole world if she could just have Demetrius.
“Then to the wood will he tomorrow night
Pursue her. And for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense.”
Act I Scene I. Lines 246-249
Helena is going to tell Demetrius that Hermia is running away. If she tells him this, he at least will be grateful for this information.
Helena follows Demetrius into the woods, which later causes chaos when Puck puts love juice in Lysander’s eyes instead of Demetrius’s, causing him to fall in love with her.
The purpose of this artwork was to uncover the main points of our scene by observing the words that came up the most in our part of the text. A dominant aspect in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is love. This is important because it is the theme that the characters and play revolve around. Other words that are prominent besides the characters’ names are “Athens,” “meet,” “destiny,” “wood,” and “night.” These words alone create a general idea of the plot. A tangled web of Athenian lovers meet at night in the woods, and destiny guides them through. The word “fair” draws to attention that the girls have strong opinions about their beauty. This was proven true in our passage when Helena exclaimed, "Demetrius loves your fair... Would that fault were mine!" This mini-project helped recognize the important aspects of the play.
Created and Written by Alyssa Cho
The film version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream has many similarities and differences to the play/book. The play has the same lines, character designs, the scenes are in order, and the story is basically the same, basically. Unlike the play version, there is actually a setting, the characters’ actions aren’t mentioned in the book, they added things like bikes, and some lines are taken out. The film effectively conveys the central message of the text because by taking out all those lines they kept the story interesting, and by adding those extra actions that weren’t mentioned in the book like Lysander taking out a locket with a picture of Hermia.The director's choice of music and lighting helps convey the central message of the scene because it displays the protagonists (the good guys) and antagonists (the bad guys). The actors’ tone of voice helped me understand the characters because at first I thought that Helena hated Hermia, but after watching the film, realized that it wasn’t hatred, but admiration. Overall, the film version was a good visual representation of the book.
In Helena’s quote, the comparison being made is that of beauty to illness. Helena wants to be infected by Hermia’s beauty so that she could be beautiful, too. She wants her ears to pick up the sound of Hermia’s voice and learn from it, have the same attracting eyes, and the same charming voice. This desire determines much of Helena’s personality in the play.
The metaphor reveals that Helena is jealous, upset, and insecure about her own looks due to Hermia unintentionally stealing Demetrius’s heart. However, she is consistent with her love for Demetrius and wishes to be beautiful so that she would be loved in return.
Throughout this complex plot, Shakespeare is trying to convey the theme that love is difficult and can often be fickle, irrational, and capricious. At one point Lysander says,”The course of true love never did run smooth” (I.i.134). Shakespeare also covers the topic of how people tend to fall in love with those who appear beautiful to them. People we think we love at one time can later seem unattractive and even repellent. The theme of precarious love is explored and evidently shown - Lysander and Demetrius both love Hermia, who only loves Lysander, and Helena loves Demetrius, who does not love her back. Shakespeare is bringing into light the afflictions that people in love suffer from.
In short, this quote helped me understand why Helena felt so bitter and wanted to be beautiful. It also depicted exactly how the main characters felt about each other, since Helena made it obvious that Demetrius was in love with Hermia and she herself was in love with Demetrius.
Metaphor Identification and Analysis
Although he lived more than 450 years ago, the bard's words are still a central icon of the English language. Source: The Independent
By Alyssa Cho
"Content with Hermia?... Not Hermia but Helena I love."
Act II Scene II. Lines 117-119
In Shakespeare’s romantic comedy
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
, Helena tries to control Demetrius by making an effort to win his love. She does this by resolving to inform Demetrius about Hermia and Lysander’s flight because “for this intelligence/ If I have thanks, it is a dear expense (I.i.246-249). Clearly she knows that pining after him will not do the trick, and she believes that sharing this piece of information will increase the amount of respect, trust, or at the very least, gratitude Demetrius has for her. She is so driven by love that she even begs him to "use her as his spaniel."
Text to Film
By: Malia Douglas
By Alyssa Cho
As Ugly as a Bear:
In the romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Egues tries to control Hermia. Egeus states that Lysander “turned her obedience (which is due to me) to stubborn harshness” (Li. 37-38). He also said that Lysander won Hermia’s heart “with cunning hast thou filched my daughters’ heart”(Li. 36). Egeus thought that Hermia loves Lysander because he won her cunningly. Egeus decided to take action so he said “Be it so she will not here before your Grace Consent to marry Demetrius (Li. 39-40). The Athenian law states that Hermia’s father Egeus can force Hermia to marry Demetrius or she will be put to death. Hermia is angry so she tells Helena “Take comfort; he shall no more see my face. Lysander and myself will flee this place,”(Li. 202-203). Hermia and Lysander plan to run to the forest where a law can’t keep them apart.
By Malia Douglas
By Cade Eastlack
In the romantic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, by playwright William Shakespeare, Lysander tries to control Egeus, begging him to marry his daughter, Hermia, whom loves Lysander. Egeus looks only upon Demetrius as the fitting choice for his daughter and as his future son-in-law, although Hermia loathes him. Lysander tries to control Egeus's decision in his daughter's groom when he says "I am, my lord, as well derived as he, As well possess'd; my love is more than his; My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd" (I.ii.98-100). Although Lysander makes some good points that could convince Egeus to let he and Hermia get married, they do not persuade the stubborn father. Overall, Lysander's attempt to control Egeus is a failure, as Egeus will have his daughter marry Demetrius or die.
In elementary, we are all taught the basics of writing: subject, verb, adjective, modifiers, particles, and all that interesting gunk. We’re also taught about how to make our writing more vivid, using devices with glorious names such as “similes” and “metaphors”. These funny-sounding devices actually serve a purpose, though. As far back as the beginnings of what could truly be called “modern English”, people have been using devices like these to enhance their writing. Throughout his play "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Shakespeare constantly focuses on drawing readers in with figurative language, such as similes and metaphors. The use of these pieces of figurative language prove to be effective because of their references to the drama in relationships. Many readers can relate to many fragments in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and this is why the enhanced writing in Shakespeare's plays is so engaging.
Kahoot URL: https://play.kahoot.it/#/?quizId=0fcef460-645d-42df-b3e0-dc5c0755e55b
By Cade Eastlack
Kahoot! by Allen Huang
(Lysander has) turned her obedience (which is due to me) To stubborn harshness Act 1, Scene 1: Lines 37-38
Egues doesn’t like Lysander and he would rather Hermia marry Demetrius
“Be it so she will not here before your Grace Consent to marry Demetrius Lines 39-40
Egues forces Hermia to marry Demetrius
Take comfort; he shall no more see my face. Lysander and myself will flee this place. Lines 202-203
Hermia runs away to the forest so she can be with her Lysander.
Reading Comprehension Questions
Old Bill still remains a central symbol of the English language to this day. Source: Reuters.
1. What specific dialogue or incidents in this section provoke Helena to make the decision to reveal Hermia and Lysander’s plans to Demetrius?
A: The thought that provokes Helena to make the decision about revealing Hermia is that “for this intelligence//If I have thanks, it is a dear expense.” If she can have the respect of Demetrius, she thinks it is worth it.
2. To what do Lysander and Hermia agree?
A: Lysander and Hermia agree to elope into the woods near Athens, and flee to Lysander’s aunt’s house to get married outside from Athens’s jurisdiction.
3.What hope does Helena have by telling Demetrius of Lysander and Hermia’s flight?
A: By telling Demetrius of Hermia and Lysander’s plans, Helena hopes that Demetrius will love her once more.
4. Who are the characters in scene two, and what do they plan?
A: The characters in scene two are Lysander, Hermia, and Helena. Lysander and Hermia plan to run away from Athens to the house of Lysander’s aunt to get married, and Helena plans to inform Demetrius of their plot to gain his attention.
5. What does Hermia tell Lysander when they begin discussing the difficulties true love faces?
A: Hermia tells Lysander that trials in love are as customary as dreams and wishes, “poor fancy’s followers”. Thus, they must teach themselves patience in getting their love fulfilled.
6. What is Helena trying to say in her final monologue, when she states that love is blind?
A: Helena is saying that love can make worthless things seem beautiful, beautiful looks looks with the mind, not the eyes.
7. What does Helena liken Hermia’s beauty in Lysander’s eyes to, when she wishes that she could “catch” it too?
A: Helena likens Hermia’s beauty to a sickness, wishing that as sickness catches and spreads, Hermia’s beauty would too.
8. What does Lysander mean when he states that the course of true lovers never did run smooth?
A: He means that true love has always faced difficulties, whether they were war, death, sickness, age difference, social class, or lack of parental consent.
9. Why does Helena feel so bitter toward Hermia?
A: Helena feels bitter towards Hermia because Hermia has stolen the heart of her one love, Demetrius.
10. Since when did Demetrius start loving Hermia instead of Helena?
A: Demetrius starts loving Hermia instead of Helena when he first sees her, and becomes acquainted with her.
Lysander tries to control Egeus by attempting to convince Egeus that Demetrius was not the right man for Hermia.
By telling Egeus how Demetrius had left his love Helena for Hermia and he might do so again.
"I am, my lord, as well derived as he... My love is more than his... Why should not I then prosecute my right?"
Egeus is still convinced that Demetrius will be the best husband for Hermia.
"Scornful Lysander, true, he hath my love// And what is my love shall render him."
" Demetrius... Made love to to Nedar's daughter Helena... And she, sweetly dotes... Upon this spotted and inconstant man.