Sarah Lam's A Midsummer Night's Dream
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A Midsummer Night's Dream Research Portfolio

Honors English 10 Project

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The Curse of the "M" Word. ~Historical Article~

The Curse of the "M" Word. ~Historical Article~ | Sarah Lam's A Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
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HISTORICAL ARTICLE:

Many actors and theater lovers believe that speaking the word “Macbeth” can bring terrible bad luck and cause horrific tragedy.  That’s why saying the unspeakable “M” word backstage often results in being kicked out of the dressing room until a curative ceremony is performed. The vastly acknowledged superstition is a result of the many known disasters surrounding Macbeth. For example, on the first performance of the play in 1606, the actor playing the part of Lady Macbeth collapsed from a fever and died. Several of the play's later performances were just as tragic: a severe storm on the opening of the play in London in 1703, a disastrous riot where over twenty people were killed, the murder of President Lincoln, and many other gruesome events. This superstition suggests that not only Macbeth, but also the rest of Shakespeare’s plays were thought to have a powerful meaning and even today’s actors and audience members continue to believe this. Knowing about the confidence in the power of Shakespeare’s words and plays builds my own respect to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and has me further contemplate about the meaning of the play.

 

Riley, Dick, and Pam McAllister. "The Curse Of The "M" Word." Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion To Shakespeare (2001): 250-251. Literary Reference Center. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

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Emily Richards's comment, March 12, 2013 4:11 PM
I find this so interesting Sarah! Do you think that someone may have just thought of the idea of a "cursed" word in order to get Shakespeare's plays more popular because it would draw in an audience?
Sarah Lamoureux's comment, March 13, 2013 11:10 PM
Possibly! But I think people came up with it for the same reasons they do with any other superstition; to explain a strange reoccurrence and for the excitement and wonder the superstition brings out in people.
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Puck: Shakespeare's Shape-Shifter ~Source~

Puck: Shakespeare's Shape-Shifter ~Source~ | Sarah Lam's A Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
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SOURCE:

 The fairy Puck has been seen in many different pieces of literature and time periods in a variety of forms. Sometimes he is young and other times old. He can be in the form of an animal, a goblin, a fairy, or even as a devil. Puck originated over a thousand years ago as a mischievous being that interfered with people’s everyday lives and was often blamed when bad things happened to someone. Shakespeare adapts the fairy Puck into A Midsummer Night’s Dream and also creatively combines Puck with Robin Goodfellow, another shape-shifter better known to the Elizabethan audience. By linking the two characters, Shakespeare created one character that could be easily identified by the audience and understood as a character that would play a mischievous and detrimental part in the play.

 

 Riley, Dick, and Pam McAllister. "Puck: Shakespeare's Shape-Shifter." Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion To Shakespeare (2001): 77-78.Literary Reference Center. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.

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The Comedy of the Lovers in A Midsummer Night's Dream. ~Literary Criticism~

The Comedy of the Lovers in A Midsummer Night's Dream. ~Literary Criticism~ | Sarah Lam's A Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
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LITERARY CRITICISM: 

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream can be read and interpreted in numerous ways. This literary criticism explains the play as a comedy in the way M.E. Comtois interpreted it. Rather than labeling the play as a romance, Comtois refers to it as a farce, or a humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character. Shakespeare presents the four lovers as comical characters instead of developing their personalities. The plot of the play consists of clear patterns that Comtois suggests being a dance between the lovers. There are patterns of who loves whom, patterns where roles are passed amongst characters in different scenes, and even rhyming patterns of the lines between characters. Whether or not Shakespeare intended A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be a farce, Comtois’ argument appears valid because there is little difference in the characters personalities and the play is humorous and seems to have a pattern throughout. 

 

Comtois, M. E. "The Comedy Of The Lovers In A Midsummer Night's Dream." Essays In Literature 12.1 (1985): 15-25.Literary Reference Center. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.

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katie McMullin's comment, March 7, 2013 6:38 PM
Hey Sarah! I like your analysis! :D
Matthew Bonas's comment, March 7, 2013 7:51 PM
Commenting on Katie's comment, I agree with her, great analysis as well as a very interesting article. Well done!
Sarah Lamoureux's comment, March 13, 2013 11:13 PM
Thanks you two!
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SHAKESPEARE'S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM SILENT 1909 ~Video~

As the unofficial Baby-Boomer( IRA GALLEN )Guru of my Television Collecting Generation I knew it was the right time to create a Video Network for Baby-Boomer...
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VIDEO: 0:00-2:30

 The production of silent film began around 1895 when it was first popular amongst the lower class population of the United States. The time period between 1895 and 1929 was known as the Silent Era because of the popularly filmed silent movies of its time. Around 1900 silent movies became more well-liked by the middle class and the technology of silent film advanced by 1910. The video shown is a silent film from 1909 of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; however, it should be known that in this silent film the character Oberon is replaced with a female fairy named Penelope. Normally people will talk about the importance of words in Shakespeare’s plays that made up for the lack of props and proper costumes in the original showings of plays. Instead of presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the traditional way with its original words, the silent film has no dialogue and depends on the actors’ costumes and overacting to get the audience to understand the play. Showing A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a silent film provides another way to interpret and visualize the play. 

 

"SHAKESPEARE'S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM SILENT 1909." YouTube. YouTube, 03 Sept. 2008. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.

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Megan Lefebvre's comment, March 10, 2013 12:06 PM
I thought your video was really creative! What made you think of doing a silent film as your video?
Sarah Lamoureux's comment, March 13, 2013 11:12 PM
Well I wanted to find a video that was different from everyone else's and I wanted something that would be entertaining to keep the audience's attention. This silent film came up and I thought it would be humorous, interesting, and different!
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Shakespeare's Plays: The Audience's Perspective ~Image~

Shakespeare's Plays: The Audience's Perspective ~Image~ | Sarah Lam's A Midsummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
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IMAGE:

Shakespeare’s plays began in the Globe Theatre, which was built in London in 1576. A wide variety of people attended the plays at the Globe. There were many commoners or “groundlings” that filled the area in front of the stage known as the pit and many upper class members occupied the stands surrounding the pit and stage. It was also very common for royalty to appear at the theatre. With the majority of all social classes attending the plays, the theatre was normally a bustling and packed place. Being so crowded and loud it was often hard to hear the plays being performed. In the image, it is easy to visualize just how packed the Globe Theatre must have been. Right in front of the stage in the picture, groundlings are cheering to the actors, which was also very common during the plays. This image provides a visual representation of the audience’s perspective at Shakespeare’s plays and perhaps the performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

 

Petts, Ken. Elizabethan Theatre. Digital image. Allposters.com. Allposters.com, 1998. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

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