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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Rachel Connolly

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of A Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream Plot Summary Act One, Scene i The upcoming wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta is introduced. Also the main problem is introduced the awkward love shape Awkward Love Shape Hermia Lysander Demetrius Helena Loves Loves/Is Engaged to Loves Friends With Helena is given an ultimatum by Theseus as she refuses to marry Demetrius. She ends up agreeing to run away with Lysander that night. They confide in Helena who tells Demetrius The ultimatum being marry Demetrius, become a nun or die Scene ii Some Athenian workman are planning to produce a play for the wedding of Duke Theseus and Hippolyta Act Two, Scene i Oberon and Titania are fighting. The lovers all end up in the forest during the night. Oberon, King of the Fairies stumbles upon them, sees their problem then orders Puck to get some love-juice for both the Lovers and his wife, Titania Oberon and Titania are fighting over an Indian Prince that Titania has basically adopted as her own - Oberon's jealous Scene ii Oberon sprinkled the juice on Titania's eyes Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius - as he was told only a man in Athenian clothes - and sprinkles the love potion into his eyes Lysander ends up falling in love with Helena Hermia is now left alone in the forest Act Three, Scene i The workman are meeting in the forest to practice for the play in secret Puck finds them and turns Bottom head into that of an ass Subsequently Titania awakens and, upon seeing Bottom with the love juice in her eyes, falls madly in love with him Scene ii Oberon upon discovering Pucks mistaken identity tries to correct it By doing so he sprinkles love potion onto Demetrius's eyes making him fall in love with a very confused Helena who thinks she's being played the fool Oberon orders for Puck to keep the two men apart who are both trying to get Helena's attention until the problem can be solved Act Four, Scene i Bottom teases the fairies till he falls asleep. Oberon gives the remedy to Titania, the fairies away. The situation with the lovers is already remedied The lovers are woken up by Theseus. Bottom wakes up somewhere else by himself very confused. Scene ii Bottom returns to Athens and the workmen prepare to do the play at the palace Act Five, Scene i After Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding, with the four lovers they watch the workman's play When they retire for the night the fairies bless their unions Characters The Humans Theseus - Duke of Athens Theseus is a legendary ruler of Athens - where the play is set. He is a character from Greek mythology and was known to have fought various monsters and killed the Minotaur that threatened to destroy the island of Crete. He married Hippolyta a stolen Amazonian Queen. He is seen in the play as a representation of power and order appearing at the beginning and the end of the play acting as a barrier between the dreamlike forest and the "real" world Hippolyta - Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus The Amazons were thought to be a nation of women-warriors who despised men and refused to marry them. They were thought to have conquered most of Africa before Theseus defeated them and married their Queen. Like Theseus she symbolizes order in the play and the marriage of the two provide a framework for the occasions the other characters partake in e.g. the "play within a play" Hermia In love with Lysander and betrothed to Demetrius Hermia is a hot tempered young woman - as shown by her refusing to marry Demetrius and agreeing to run away with Lysander. Childhood friend of Helena She is also very conscious of her height Helena She is incredibly jealous of her friends "beauty" and is currently in love with a man (Demetrius) who does not love her. Helena can sometimes be perceived as whiny but her love with Demetrius does hold some substance as at one point her promised to marry her only to fall in love with Helena Lysander A troubled Athenian man. Although he is in love with Hermia he cannot marry her because of her father, Egeus who wants her to marry Demetrius. He however hatches a plan to run away with Hermia. He is seen as a bit of a dreamer in the play, maybe the hero in his own tale? Demetrius A fickle Athenian man. Origionally - although not in the course of the play - he was in love with Helena, before he decides he's in love with Hermia and asks for her hand in marriage no matter how unwilling she may be. The fairies play a trick on him so Demetrius ends up back in love with Helena The Royals The Lovers The Workman Nick Bottom - 'the weaver' An over exaggerated character. Brimming with self-confidence and advice Bottom frequently makes mistakes and misuses language throughout the play. In the play within a play he is Pyramis. He's foolishly arrogant as shown by the fact that he wasn't surprised the beautiful Titania fell in love with him. Peter Quince - 'the carpenter' Quince was the nominated 'head' of the play, the director assigning roles to the actors etc. He was often pushed aside for the over confident loud Bottom. Francis Flute - 'the bellows mender' Plays the female role of Thisbe in the play, the bearded man does so in a terribly high squeaky voice Tom Snout - 'the tinker' He is chosen to play Thisbe's father. He plays however the part of the wall in the play adding to the humour of the 'play within a play' Robin Starveling - 'the tailor' Chosen to play Thisbe's mother, he ends up playing moonshine in the play Snug - 'the joiner' Chosen to play the part of the lion in the play, he is strongly warned against making the lion to fierce and scaring the ladies in the audience Minor Characters Egeus - A nobleman, Hermia's father
Philostrate - Master of the Revels at Theseus's court
Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed (Fairies) -
Fairy attendants, come from no source except Shakespeares imagination Ideas In the Play The Fairies Oberon Originally from a Medieval Romance by Huan Bordeaux
translated mid 1530s
King of the Fairies
Oberon is married to Titania
He is trying to get revenge on his wife during the play as he's jealous of one of Titania's new followers - an adopted Orphan boy, he wants him as his follower.
He gets revenge on his wife by using a love potion to make her fall in love with Bottom
Titania Roman poet Ovid gave this name to the goddess of chastity, Diana
In Shakespeare's version there are some similarities between Titania and pagan deities, but she is no Goddess
Titania is convinced that her fight with Oberon is causing havoc with the lives of 'human mortals' and the fairies have neglected ceremonies therefore the elements e.g. wind, rain, and the sun, have been thrown out of balance
Robin Goodfellow (Puck) Before Shakespeare's play "A Puck" was simply a kind of fairy, not an actual fairy name. They were mischievous fairies that transformed themselves in order to look like a human and caused havoc, like leaders travelers astray during the night
On the whole Pucks were nice fairies, kind to travelers, sympathetic to lovers and and ready to help a housewife keep her home a tidy affair. Shakespeare refers to some of these attributes in the play
Puck's place in the fairies court is as Oberon's jester and his go to man for devious plots and intrusts him to help out the lovers and holds him responsible when he mixes Lysander and Demetrius up
He is the closest thing the play has to a protagonist True Love Most of the conflict in the play stems from troubles of romance 'A Midsummer Night's Dream is not a love story however, it's a comedy The plot is so lighthearted that the audience has no doubt everything will end happily - this allows the audience to enjoy the humour of the play without worrying what the outcome will be The plot in its absurdity distances the audience's emotions from the story allowing it to be enjoyable as the the characters are tormented with ridiculous circumstances and emotions The play forces the audience to consider what an irrational thing love truly is
It's also a thing the characters in the play have no control over Theseaus and Hippolyta are symbols of power and order
Oberon and Titania are symbols of chaos and magic
The couples relationships, maturity of Theseaus and Hippolyta reltaionship to the immature squabbling marriage of Oberon and Titania Also the play seems to view marriage as being the ultimate consummation of love Quotes Love "The course of true love never did run smooth" - Lysander 1-1-134 Act-Scene-Line "My heart/Is as true as steel" Hermia 2-1-196 "Cupid is a knavish lad,/This to make poor females mad" - Puck 3-2-440 "Jack shall have Jill/Naught shall go ill/ The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well" - Puck Magic The protagonist to the plot Magic embodies the supernatural powers of love It created both chaos in the play - Puck turning Bottoms head into that of an ass, accidentally applying love potion to Lysander's eyes instead of Demetrius It also resolves the problems of the lovers, Demterius falls back into love with Helena, the fairies, as Oberon and Titania appear to be a happy couple by the end of the play It shows the magic of the theater as it contrasts to a play within a play Contrast - Puck easily turns Bottoms head into that of an ass
- The labour intensive gracelessness of the workmens attemps at a play
"Bless thee, Bottom! Thou art translated!" - Quince [when he runs away because Bottoms head is ow that of an ass] 3-1-104 Magic "I'll put a girdle around the earth/In forty minutes - Puck 2-1-175
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