Nick's A MidSummer Night's Dream
303 views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Nick Marchand
Scoop.it!

Literary Criticism: Social Classes In "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Literary Criticism: Social Classes In "A Midsummer Night's Dream" | Nick's A MidSummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it
Nick Marchand's insight:

"A Midsummer Night’s Dream" is a complex play with many different characters, two separate worlds and several smaller plots within the entire main story. Including all of that, critics  have concluded that Shakespeare creates a carefully built social system that is the base of the play. In the article “Social Class in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Ellen Rosenberg makes an interesting argument that there is a class system within the play, but her thesis lacks details of support. She explains the social status of every main character and the way Shakespeare uses them to build the story. Also, it becomes evident that Shakespeare applies Athenian expectations to the social classes to make the setting of the play more historically accurate. For example, Theseus, the Duke of Athens, represents high order and government of the real world. However, his wife, Hippolyta, “is an aristocratic Amazon, so she is of the same class as Theseus, though she will never have power or authority […] in a male-dominated Athens” (Rosenberg, 1). This is an interesting point that goes beyond social status and includes gender roles, but it is only supported with the fact that Hippolyta is not very present in the play and does not have a lot of responsibility. Rosenberg makes a strong connection between the social structure of the real world and the fairy world. She states that in certain different versions of the play, roles are often double cast, as in the same person will play Theseus and Oberon or Philostrate and Puck. This is because “these pairs are often viewed as representing parallel worlds and issues” (1). Basically, Shakespeare shows the social classes within the play by mirroring them in both the real world and the fairy world. Overall, Rosenberg’s claim is valid that Shakespeare incorporates the social classes of the characters to develop the plot and reflect the audience of the Globe Theater. She could, however, have strengthened her thesis with more quotes and more specific evidence from the text.

 

Rosenberg, Ellen. "Social Class in A Midsummer Night's Dream." Infobase Learning - Bloom's Literary Reference Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.

more...
Luis Colon's comment, April 1, 2013 6:04 PM
Nick, your insights are well organized. Your analysis are very detailed and easy to understand.
Scooped by Nick Marchand
Scoop.it!

Image: Lysander and Hermia

Image: Lysander and Hermia | Nick's A MidSummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it

This picture shows a scene with Lysander and Hermia in the woods

Nick Marchand's insight:

This image of Hermia and Lysander was made to go with the play A Midsummer Night's Dream written by Shakespeare. It shows the scene with Hermia and Lysander when they are in the woods after declining her father's orders. They set out to run away to get married and never come back. While they are in the woods they meet the fairies of the forest, even though they may not know it. This image is a good way to represent what the play is presenting and how you should picture the scene in your head. 

 

"Illustration Depicting Lysander and Hermia from A Midsummer Night's Dream." - E7440. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.

more...
Nathan Boisclair's curator insight, June 8, 2015 10:26 PM

This image shows some main characters within the play. Hernia, seen in the center of the picture is one of the four main characters. Behind her is Lysander another main character. He poses a masculine and a warrior figure. In the bottom left corner, the character Bottom, is seen with a fairy with a donkey head in hand. This was a big part of the story as well that provided comic relief. This painting almost provides a summary of the play since it shows the key points.

Scooped by Nick Marchand
Scoop.it!

Source: Hermia.

Source: Hermia. | Nick's A MidSummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it

This Encyclopedia entry sums up Hermia's relationship to Hermes, through their similarities and differences. 

Nick Marchand's insight:

In Shakespeare's writing he uses the Greek Gods and Goddesses as a reference for some of the main characters in his plays. The plot is focused on Hermia, who is named after Hermes. As this document states, Hermes is involved with Trickery. Cunning, and Speed. A Theory states that Hermia has the ability to make Lysander and Hermes both fall in love with her, which makes her "the most fylthy whore," and this is related to Hermes tricks and his link to the underworld. Hermia's relation to Hermes's automatically brings dark meaning to her name. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hermia runs away from Athenian Law and her father, to prolong her relationship with Lysander. Hermia is a nice, kind hearted girl, and not the "fylthy whore" that she was previously described as and her reflections to Hermes may not necessarily be true. However she does have physical similarities and references to Hermes. In the play, Hermia is often insulted about her short height and "in her diminutive stature as a ‘puppet’, ‘dwarf’ or ‘minimus’ (3.2.288 and 327–8), she physically echoes the youthful god Hermes" (185). Also, Hermia woke up from a terrible dream about being attacked by a serpent, which is very similar to the snake-like creature wrapped around the staff that Hermes carries. Although Hermia shares similarities and differences with Hermes, Shakespeare thought it would be a good idea to base her name off this Greek god.

 

FINDLAY, ALISON. "Hermia." Women In Shakespeare (2010): 185-186. Literary Reference Center. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Nick Marchand
Scoop.it!

Historical Article: Feminists in Elizabethan England.

Historical Article: Feminists in Elizabethan England. | Nick's A MidSummer Night's Dream | Scoop.it

This article describes what is going on, and what is expected of Females back in Elizabethan Times.

Nick Marchand's insight:

During the Renaissance Period, women were brought up to listen and understand the concept of male supremacy. However, in a cultural revolution lead by the Queen of England, (Queen Elizabeth), whose refusal of male domination, it lead to a growing acknowledgement and respect for female prominence. This push for women's rights has impacted a few aspects of culture, one of them being theater. While women were expected to take up more humble or reserved  roles, they became a sensation in popular playwrights, many of them being Shakespeare.   It was assumed that Shakespeare has used Queen Elizabeth as a role model for many of his female characters. A lot of the female hero's, shared characteristics with the queen, for example, being motherless, extremely lively, or even impossible to intimidate. The movement for women's rights wasn't only an admirable ambition for the time, but almost equally impressive was the affect that it had in that time period. As women strived to reject male superiority, they not only got the attention of their husbands and other male figures, but also influenced the culture as they knew it, as they became huge roles in the works of entertainment, many of which through the playwrights of William Shakespeare.

 

 

Shapiro, Susan C. "Feminists In Elizabethan England." History Today 27.11 (1977): 703. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Nick Marchand
Scoop.it!

Video: BBC Shakespeare Animated Tales - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Part 1

This Short Clip, quickly and Skillfully describes the first few acts of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in a cartoony way.

Nick Marchand's insight:

This video is a video created by BBC, which quickly describes the first few acts of A Midsummer Night's dream. A Narrator describes the details of the play while the cartoon characters act out the scenes. This video could easily help anyone that hasn't read the book understand what is happening and it doesn’t make it boring, as it added in a lullaby for Titania to fall asleep,  and the characters don’t look boring or bland, they are very interesting and unique. This video goes into some depth of the play as well, while most movies or shows cannot go into that much detail, this cartoon covers a lot of the details. I hope you enjoyed this video, as I enjoyed finding it. 

 

"BBC Shakespeare Animated Tales - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Part 1." YouTube. YouTube, 01 Nov. 2008. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.

more...
No comment yet.