When reading the lengthy, mind boggling play, A Midsummer Night's Dream by one of the greatest literary play wrights ever born in the history of the world, William Shakespeare, one has to question the necessity of the confusing plot development. In the beginning of the play, we have a simple love story. A duke of Athens is due to join the Queen of the Amazons in marraige and then, Shakespeare begins to lay it down on the reader. Now another set of characters are introduced, two males and two females. Both men are infatuated with the more attractive girl, Hermia. However, this leaves the other girls, Helena desperate to capture the attention of one of Hermia's suitors, Demetrius. Then. upon a journey into a forest, the whole love triangle- relationship is messed up. Now, as the result of supernatural interference, both men reverse and advance upon Helena and ditch Hermia. Hermia, who was previously going to marry the other man, Lysader, is left forsaken and confused. Furthermore, Helena, who was previously desperate to become worthy of recognitionin Demetrius' eyes, is turned off by the sudden advances of both men. Confused? Welcome to the world of William Shakespeare, a land of confusing twists and turns that are guarenteed to take the reader on a wild ride.
It is impossible to say that William Shakespeare is not one of the most important writers in our history. Though he did live hundreds of years ago and his work is now often considered out of date, his legacy lives on and some of his works still impact us today. One of the most popular writers in our history, Shakespeare has written many classical peices of literature that we are still familiar with today, such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Although one cannot challenge the significance of Skakespeare's work, the authenticity of it, though is anther matter. Just as he used Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe to influence Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare borrowed from other sources when writing A Midsummer Night's Dream. When creating A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare looked to Greek mythology for inspiration to scupt his characters. One of the most prominent sources is the legend of Hippolyta, Queen of the female warrior tribe, the Amazons. Not only is Hippolyta one of the characters in the play, but she also impacts some of the other characters. For example, in the play Titania, whom of which can be viewed as another representation of Hippolyta, is bewitched and ends up falling in love with an ass. This inflatuation with an equestrian animal a humorous joke influenced by Hippolyta's love for horses.
FINDLAY, ALISON. "Hippolyta." Women In Shakespeare (2010): 188-190. Literary Reference Center. Web. 11 Feb. 2013
During the Renassaince Period, women were expected to recognize and adhere to the concept of male supremacy. However, in a cultural revolution lead by the Queen of Enlgand, Queen Elizabeth, whose repudiation of male domination, lead to a growing acknowledgement and respect for female prominence. This movement for women's liberation has influenced several aspects of culture, such as theater. While women were expected to assume more humble and reserved roles, they would achieve greater importance in works by popular playwrights, such as in the works of William Shakespeare. It has been observed that Willliam Shakespeare would model several of his female characters after Queen Elizabeth. A number of Shakespeare's heroins would share characteristics with the queen, being motherless, incredibly vivacious and impossible to intimidate. The movement for women;s liberation was not only an admireable aspiration for its time, but almost eually impressive was the effect it had in its place in time. As women strived to reject the concept of male domination, they not only succeeded in gaining recognition from thier male counterparts, but also influeced culture, as it also became a part of theater art through the works of playwrights such as William Shakespeare.
Shapiro, Susan C. "Feminists In Elizabethan England." History Today 27.11 (1977): 703. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 3 Feb. 2013
Although A Midsummer Night's Dream can come off a more serious love story, but in reality, it is actually quite humeorous. The combination of love triangles, jealousy and supernatural forces all come together for a comedic play. One such example of comedy is represented by Edwin Henry Landseer's painting of Titania falling in love with a man with the head of an ass. When her husband grows weary of her annoying personality, he orders one of his fairy servants, Puck to curse her to fall in love with the next thing she sees. Unfortunately, this is a man whose head was recently turned into that of an ass. In a bizarre series of events, Titania become infatuated with an ass, much to the delight of her sneaky husband, Oberon.
Meet Billy and his pet pig, Francis, as they seek play-writing inspiration. A light-hearted series of short animated films created by the Brothers McLeod wit...
Cristian Witcher's insight:
With the passing of time comes the evolution of communication. One such example is the developement using cellular devices to call and txt people. Another example of evolution in communtication is language. When most people think about Shakespeare, they think about old English, long and confusing words and sentence structures. Thus, people are immediately turned off, afraid of the complexity of literature. The Royal Skakespeare Company's presentation is extremely conducive in aiding someone's understanding of the play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Not only does the video overcome the language barrier, using pictures to represent a message, the video also is able to summarize the plot or gist of the play in a short, consise version of hthe story. Some might say such a short representation of such an extensive piece of literature might be minimalist, but from another angle, it is straightforward.
"Royal Shakespeare Company - Billy - A Midsummer Night's Dream." YouTube. YouTube, 19 Apr. 2011. Web. 05 Feb. 2013.
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