Hippolyta was a mythological woman who ruled the Amazons, a tribe of warrior women who raised only daughters. In Greek mythology...
Austin Berard's insight:
This article provided an more in-depth insight on Hippolyta and, as the article is named, who she was. In the play she is not exactly important to the plot. However it does call for more research to find out who she really is. Since the play does not give much information about her story this article allowed me to truly know her. It talks about her beginnings as the daughter of Ares, the Greek god of war, and becoming Queen of the Amazons. She then was kidnapped by Theseus, similar to the play, and was forced to be wed. What the play does not tell you was that she ended up having Theseus's son, named Hippolytus. It was interesting to find out that the characters in Shakespeare's play were not all made by him. Many including Hippolyta were famous before Shakespeare. Before doing more research and finding this article I assumed all of the characters were made up by Shakespeare. It seems that in our time this would be less accepted then it was in Shakespeare's time.
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Austin Berard's insight:
For my historical article I decided to think outside the box. I assumed most people would choose articles directly about Shakespeare and his life. Therefore I decided to choose an article about the time period instead. In particular the marine aspect. While this did not directly affect Shakespeare and his plays, it still had an effect on them indirectly. My article Guns, Gales and God Elizabeth I's 'Merchant Navy' takes a look at the maritime history surrounding Queen Elizabeth's rule. It takes a closer look at their use of Spain's naval power which provided them with maritime defense. It also discusses the practices of building larger ships to sail farther, and sailing expeditions of discovery. I enjoy history and if you do to then you will be happily surprised with this article. It has provided me with a more complete understanding of the circumstances surrounding Shakespeare and his plays.
Friel, Ian. "Guns, Gales And God Elizabeth I's 'Merchant Navy'." History Today 60.1 (2010): 45-51. Academic Search Elite. Web. 3 Mar. 2013.
I DON'T OWN THIS SHORT, IT BELONGS TO DISNEY. Mickey Mouse Works House of Mouse A MouseTales Cartoon Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy compete in Shakespeare'...
Austin Berard's insight:
For my video proton of this project I choose a more light humored one rather than an intense extremely accurate reenactment. It is the Disney version of the play. It surprisingly taught me something that reading the lay nor watching the movie could. That this play as it was meant to be was to be funny. It was written as a comedy, and seeing the Disney characters really showed this. It also makes the dry play more fun to understand. It was enjoyable to watch this which is more then I can say for the actual written play. For a younger group or even high school students beginning to tackle Shakespeare I would recommend this video, it truly is an easier, simpler approach to Shakespeare, and A Midsummer Night's Dream in particular.
John F. Kennedy once said "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth". Just because something is accepted by the masses does not mean you should accept it. Whiteout people to challenge these things where would we be now, we would be the center of the solar system, not able to sail around the world, and we would still be using rocks as tools. Robert C. Evans is one of these challengers. It is commonly accepted that Puck is a trickster but that does not mean its tight. In "This Sport Well Carried Shall Be Chronicled": Puck as Trickster in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream he challenges this theory and tests the validity of this claim, he as well as John F. Kennedy believes in challenging the accepted. He uses several excerpts from A Midsummer Night's Dream and other well respected authors books and theory's to ultimately decide whether Puck is a "trickster", he ultimately decides that he is a trickster. However the question of what exactly a "trickster" is, becomes the question. Robert C. Evans uses well known Authors William G. Doty, and William J. Hynes to answer this question and aid in the support of the idea that Puck is a trickster which strengthens his argument. Evans gathered that Hynes and Doty noted that " the many disagreements and debates that occur among scholars who have long studied the issue. They report, for instance, that some writers "see the trickster as so universal a figure that all tricksters speak with essentially the same voice," while other scholars "counsel that the tricksters belonging to individual societies are so culture-specific that no two of them articulate the same messages" (Evans 1). Here is where it begins to become difficult to decide what a trickster is because of all the ranging theory's to a "trickster". Also as Evans stated " Further complications also present themselves. Although tricksters are often "comical if not marginal figures" in many traditions, "they represent sacred beings in some cultures, but not in others"(Evans 1). This along with the ranging theory's make it seem impossible to find an universal definition for a trickster. Evans faced this problem by examining the text of A Midsummer Night's Dream in order to find common traits and characteristics expressed by several theories from all ends of the field. For example in Act 2, scene 1 of the play " an unnamed "Fairy," almost immediately after recognizing Puck, describes him as "shrewd" (Shakespeare 2.1.34)—an adjective that fits with one scholar's description of an African trickster" (Evans 2). The next fairy describes Puck as "knavish" (Shakespeare 2.1.34) " an assertion that matches Hynes' claim that one of the six most basic characteristics of any trickster is his (or her) function as a consummate and continuous trick-player and deceiver" (Mapping 35)" (Evans 2). Evans continues to find examples after examples from the text that supports his argument. The whole literary criticism is filled with an abundance of evidence that provides for an easy decision for the validity of his original claim, which was that Puck is a "trickster" when looking at him through the most respected theories. In particular he used the theories of Doty and Hynes. This author is truly a master of the pen, and uses factual and textual evidence to coincide with his claim.
Edwin Landseer’s Scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Titania and Bottom illustrates the third act of William Shakespeare’s famous comedy.
Austin Berard's insight:
This painting by Edwin Landseer around 1850 shows a scene of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" shows Titania falling in love with Nick Bottom. It shows Titania leaning upon Bottom. He has the head of a donkey, corresponding with the play. This image gives a better understanding of the comical part of the play. When just reading the play it was humorous, however, upon actually viewing an image of this, it brought a new side of things. Also in the painting it has fairies riding bunnies which while unmentioned in the play is also funny. The small man standing in front of the two lovers is Oberon. This scene is right before Oberon puts the flower juice onto Titania's eye lids.
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