Brianna's Midsummer Night's Dream
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Brianna's Midsummer Night's Dream
A full analysis on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
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Literary Criticism: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Literary Criticism: A Midsummer Night's Dream | Brianna's Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
Brianna Andreoni's insight:

      Critics, readers, and audiences often consider weather “Shakespeare intends us to take the enchanted woods as a dream or as a reality” in the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Boyce 3). In his three page criticism Charles Boyce analyzes the play and explores the similarities between reality and illusion. Boyce recognizes the natural, mythical dangers of the forest that add a supernatural dream-like vibe to the setting of the play. He explains that moonlight shining over the woods creates a sinister nightmare feeling that frightens the characters. Boyce acknowledges the fact that animals, “even bee[s], pose a threat” in the darkness of the enchanted woods (Boyce 2). Since, Demetrius threatens to run away from Helena and leave her to the wild animals, it can be concluded that the darkness is found alarming to the characters. Boyce explains that the interaction between the lovers and the terrifying woodland setting can only be depicted as a horrible nightmare that the lovers are having. Boyce recognizes that Theseus touches upon the idea that that often-in frightening situations the imaginations of people run wild. Boyce suggests that, “Theseus sees only fiction or lunacy when the ‘imagination bodies forth / The forms of things unknown [and] the poet's pen / Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing / A local habitation and a name’"(Boyce 3). In contradiction to his original thought, Boyce agrees with Hippolyta and feels that although the lover’s story is bizarre and astounding it is solid and consistent. This contradiction allows the reader to consider the idea that “ the poet’s embodiment of imaginary things, has made the unreal real” (Boyce 3). Throughout Boyce’s criticism he uses symbolism, various motifs and quotes to prove his focused point. Although the author was successful in supporting most of the ideas pro-posed, his form of organization was sporadic and not primarily focused on one main idea. In short, the literary criticism suggested several enlightening ideas and touched upon abstruse and meaningful points.

 

 

Citation: Boyce, Charles. "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Critical Companion to William Shakespeare: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.

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Historical Article: All the World's a Stage-Elizabethan Drama

Historical Article: All the World's a Stage-Elizabethan Drama | Brianna's Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
Brianna Andreoni's insight:

      The historical article, "All the Worlds a Stage- Elizabethan Drama" details historical information involving drama during the Elizabethan Age. During the beginning of the Elizabethan Age indoor productions took place in halls, medieval guilds or mansions. It was uncommon "to have a structure specially built for dramatic performances". Both indoor and outdoor productions took place on a stage that had no curtains, scenery or machinery. In the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Nick Bottom brags that he is able to play Pyramus, Thisbe and the Lion in the play "Pyramus and Thisbe". This is not uncommon during this time because actors "had to keep many more [parts], and often had several parts in each production." The actors in the play were only played by men during this age. The women in the Elizabethan error "were not allowed on stage until after 1660." The play consisted of two social groups, tradesmen and the higher class. The tradesmen in the play appealed to the groundlings while the higher class appealed to the rich. After 400 years the Shakespearian plays that took place during the Elizabethan age "have still attained the status of classics".


 

Citation: Riley, Dick, and Pam McAllister. "All The World's A Stage--Elizabethan Drama." Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion To Shakespeare (2001): 13-18. Literary Reference Center. Web. 2 Mar. 2013.
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Source: Puck- Shakespeare's Shape-Shifter

Source: Puck- Shakespeare's Shape-Shifter | Brianna's Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
Brianna Andreoni's insight:

       In the source "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Shakespeare uses the name Puck to represent king Oberon's jester. Puck, also known as Robin Good-fellow, is a devious fairy that plays tricks on mortals. For example, Puck transforms himself into a stool and "then slip[s] from [a women's] bum, down topples she." Shakespeare chose the name Puck to represent the fairy because of his mischievous actions.  The article, "Puck: Shakespeare's Shape-Shifter," explains the meaning of a common Shakespearean name, Puck. The words Puki (Old Norse),Pooka (Irish), and Pwca (Welsh) are synonyms to the name Puck, meaning mischievous spirit. For over one thousand years anyone with this name was considered a troublemaker and the devil. The word "pouk-ledden" meant to be misled or tricked by a beast, goblin, or person named Puck. The word Robin was derived from the medieval times meaning the devil. "The word Good-fellow was often a bad fellow, misleading travelers, pulling pranks, [and] laughing with a marked 'Ho, Ho, Ho". Shakespeare uses the name Puck because his character embodies the same qualities as the definition of the name.

 

 

Citation: Riley, Dick, and Pam McAllister. "Puck: Shakespeare's Shape-Shifter." Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion To Shakespeare (2001): 77-78. Literary Reference Center. Web. 2 Mar. 2013.

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Image: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Image: A Midsummer Night's Dream | Brianna's Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
Brianna Andreoni's insight:

      Edwin Henry Landseer painted, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” between 1848 and 1851. The oil on canvas painting depicts Titania, queen of the fairies, holding Nick Bottom in her loving arms. Under the spell of Oberon’s magical flower potion, Titania falls in love with donkey-headed Bottom. Bottom, unaware of his hideous ass head, enjoys the attention of Titania and her servants and embraces her love. The various flowers spread along Titania’s dress and Bottom’s ears represent the simulated love of Titania towards Bottom. The brew that Oberon used to spellbind Titania was squeezed from the type of flower that the characters in the painting are interacting with. Locate over Titania hovers the head of the fairy jester that turned Bottom’s head into an ass head. Puck is watching over Titania and Bottom, happy with the trouble he caused. Finally, located to the lower right of the painting is a minuscule, nude man with his hands on his hips. This man is depicted as Oberon, king of the fairies, contempt with the torture he is causing Titania. This rendition of act three scene one in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” represents a deeper and more insightful meaning of the text.     


Citation: N.p., n.d. Web.

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Video: PUCK in New York - Shakespeare Midsummer nights dream parody

Brianna Andreoni's insight:
(5:30-7:23)

       Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was the inspiration to create various parodies, allusions, and modern re-interpretations of the play."Puck in New York," is a modern interpretation to Puck's life after his adventure in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Puck and his robber,an unsuccessful writer, go on an adventure to retrieve Puck’s magical flute that Titania stole because of her jealous ways. Puck and the robber become great friends after obtaining the flute with the help from the Greek Goddess Athena. The video allows the audience to create a new modern view on the play. It also allows the audience to not only look at the play itself but also to look at the future of the characters in the play.

 

 

Citation: "PUCK in New York - Shakespeare Midsummer Nights Dream Parody." YouTube. YouTube, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

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Olivia Darveau's comment, March 10, 2013 7:36 PM
This video is really unique! I like how it relates to what might have happened to the fairies and the other mythological characters after the end of the play.