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Bottom with his animal head becomes a comical version of the Minotaur. Bottom also becomes Ariadne's thread which guides the lovers. In having the new Minotaur rescue rather than threaten the lovers, the classical myth is comically inverted. Theseus himself is the bridegroom of the play who has left the labyrinth and promiscuity behind, having conquered his passion. The artisans may stand in for the master craftsman of the myth, and builder of the Labyrinth, Daedalus.

Even Theseus' best known speech in the play, which connects the poet with the lunatic and the lover may be another metaphor of the lover. It is a challenge for the poet to confront the irrationality he shares with lovers and lunatics, accepting the risks of entering the labyrinth. Also in , Harold F. Brooks agreed that the main theme of the play, its very heart, is desire and its culmination in marriage.

All other subjects are of lesser importance, including that of imagination and that of appearance and reality. She argued that the play is about traditional rites of passage , which trigger development within the individual and society. Theseus has detached himself from imagination and rules Athens harshly. The lovers flee from the structure of his society to the communitas of the woods. The woods serve here as the communitas , a temporary aggregate for persons whose asocial desires require accommodation to preserve the health of society.

This is the rite of passage where the asocial can be contained. Falk identified this communitas with the woods, with the unconscious, with the dream space. She argued that the lovers experience release into self-knowledge and then return to the renewed Athens. This is " societas ", the resolution of the dialectic between the dualism of communitas and structure. Also in , Christian critic R. Chris Hassel, Jr. The experience of the lovers and that of Bottom as expressed in his awakening speech teach them "a new humility, a healthy sense of folly".

They just learned a lesson of faith.

Hassel also thought that Theseus' speech on the lunatic, the lover, and the poet is an applause to imagination. But it is also a laughing rejection of futile attempts to perceive, categorise, or express it. Some of the interpretations of the play have been based on psychology and its diverse theories. In , Alex Aronson argued that Theseus represents the conscious mind and Puck represents the unconscious mind. Puck, in this view, is a guise of the unconscious as a trickster , while remaining subservient to Oberon.

Aronson thought that the play explores unauthorised desire and linked it to the concept of fertility. He viewed the donkey and the trees as fertility symbols. The lovers' sexual desires are symbolised in their forest encounters. First, they have to pass through stages of madness multiple disguises , and discover their "authentic sexual selves". Holland applied psychoanalytic literary criticism to the play. He interpreted the dream of Hermia as if it was a real dream.

In his view, the dream uncovers the phases of Hermia's sexual development. Her search for options is her defence mechanism. She both desires Lysander and wants to retain her virginity. In his view, Shakespeare suggests that love requires the risk of death.

Love achieves force and direction from the interweaving of the life impulse with the deathward-release of sexual tension. He also viewed the play as suggesting that the healing force of love is connected to the acceptance of death, and vice versa. In , Jan Lawson Hinely argued that this play has a therapeutic value.

Shakespeare in many ways explores the sexual fears of the characters, releases them, and transforms them. And the happy ending is the reestablishment of social harmony. Patriarchy itself is also challenged and transformed, as the men offer their women a loving equality, one founded on respect and trust. She even viewed Titania's loving acceptance of the donkey-headed Bottom as a metaphor for basic trust. This trust is what enables the warring and uncertain lovers to achieve their sexual maturity. In , Barbara Freedman argued that the play justifies the ideological formation of absolute monarchy , and makes visible for examination the maintenance process of hegemonic order.

During the years of the Puritan Interregnum when the theatres were closed — , the comic subplot of Bottom and his compatriots was performed as a droll. Drolls were comical playlets, often adapted from the subplots of Shakespearean and other plays, that could be attached to the acts of acrobats and jugglers and other allowed performances, thus circumventing the ban against drama. When the theatres re-opened in , A Midsummer Night's Dream was acted in adapted form, like many other Shakespearean plays. John Frederick Lampe elaborated upon Leveridge's version in In , David Garrick did the opposite of what had been done a century earlier: he extracted Bottom and his companions and acted the rest, in an adaptation called The Fairies.

Frederic Reynolds produced an operatic version in In , Madame Vestris at Covent Garden returned the play to the stage with a relatively full text, adding musical sequences and balletic dances. Vestris took the role of Oberon, and for the next seventy years, Oberon and Puck would always be played by women. After the success of Madame Vestris' production, 19th-century theatre continued to stage the Dream as a spectacle, often with a cast numbering nearly one hundred. Detailed sets were created for the palace and the forest, and the fairies were portrayed as gossamer-winged ballerinas. The overture by Felix Mendelssohn was always used throughout this period.

Augustin Daly 's production opened in in London and ran for 21 performances. Herbert Beerbohm Tree staged a production which featured "mechanical birds twittering in beech trees, a simulated stream, fairies wearing battery-operated lighting, and live rabbits following trails of food across the stage. Max Reinhardt staged A Midsummer Night's Dream thirteen times between and , [57] introducing a revolving set.

On the strength of this production, Warner Brothers signed Reinhardt to direct a filmed version , Hollywood's first Shakespeare movie since Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Brown and Dick Powell. Director Harley Granville-Barker introduced in a less spectacular way of staging the Dream : he reduced the size of the cast and used Elizabethan folk music instead of Mendelssohn. He replaced large, complex sets with a simple system of patterned curtains. He portrayed the fairies as golden robotic insectoid creatures based on Cambodian idols.

His simpler, sparer staging significantly influenced subsequent productions. In , Peter Brook staged the play for the Royal Shakespeare Company in a blank white box, in which masculine fairies engaged in circus tricks such as trapeze artistry. There have been several variations since then, including some set in the s. The Maryland Shakespeare Players at University of Maryland staged a queer production in where the lovers were same-sex couples and the mechanicals were drag queens.

The University of Michigan 's Nichols Arboretum 's programme Shakespeare in the Arb has presented a play every summer since The performance takes place in several places, with actors and audience moving together to each setting. In the first production of Emma Rice as the artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe , she has carried the play to Indies, with Indian characters, probably a reference to Gervinus.

The last performance was broadcast live all around the world through internet. In this story, Shakespeare and his company perform the play for the real Oberon and Titania and an audience of fairies. The play is heavily quoted in the comic, and Shakespeare's son Hamnet appears in the play as the Indian boy.

Terry Pratchett 's book Lords and Ladies is a parody of the play. The Fairy-Queen is an opera from by Henry Purcell , based on the play. In , Felix Mendelssohn composed a concert overture , inspired by the play, that was first performed in In , partly because of the fame of the overture, and partly because his employer King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia liked the incidental music that Mendelssohn had written for other plays that had been staged at the palace in German translation, Mendelssohn was commissioned to write incidental music for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that was to be staged in in Potsdam.

He incorporated the existing Overture into the incidental music, which was used in most stage versions through the 19th century. The best known of the pieces from the incidental music is the famous Wedding March , frequently used as a recessional in weddings. The revival premiered 14 July English choreographer Frederick Ashton also created a minute ballet version of the play, retitled to The Dream.

George Balanchine was another to create a Midsummer Night's Dream ballet based on the play, using Mendelssohn's music. Between and Carl Orff also wrote incidental music for a German version of the play, Ein Sommernachtstraum performed in Since Mendelssohn's parents were Jews who converted to Lutheranism, his music had been banned by the Nazi regime, and the Nazi cultural officials put out a call for new music for the play: Orff was one of the musicians who responded.

He later reworked the music for a final version, completed in The play was adapted into an opera , with music by Benjamin Britten and libretto by Britten and Peter Pears. The opera was first performed on 11 June at Aldeburgh. The theatre company, Moonwork put on a production of Midsummer in The music for the rest of the show was written by Andrew Sherman. In a three-act opera by Delannoy entitled Puck was premiered in Strasbourg. Progressive Rock guitarist Steve Hackett , best known for his work with Genesis , made a classical adaptation of the play in Hans Werner Henze 's Eighth Symphony is inspired by sequences from the play.

The Alexander W. A Midsummer Night's Dream has been adapted as a film many times. The following are the best known. In , British astronomer William Herschel discovered two new moons of Uranus that he named after characters in the play: Oberon , and Titania. Another Uranian moon, discovered in by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, has been named Puck. Titania and Bottom by John Anster Fitzgerald. Henry Meynell Rheam : Titania welcoming her fairy brethren. La Folie de Titania , by Paul Gervais , All references to A Midsummer Night's Dream , unless otherwise specified, are taken from the Arden Shakespeare 2nd series edition.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see A Midsummer Night's Dream disambiguation. Puck by Joshua Reynolds , Retrieved 12 April Shakespeare Reloaded. Cambridge University Press.

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Retrieved 18 January The Shakespearean World. Retrieved 12 October — via Google Books. Shakespeare and Music: Afterlives and Borrowings. Shakespearean Music in the Plays and Early Operas. Ardent Media. Brooks, Harold F. A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Arden Shakespeare , 2nd series.

FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY

Ball, Robert Hamilton [first published ]. Routledge Library Editions: Film and Literature. London: Routledge. Barnes, Clive 18 April The New York Times. Retrieved 31 March Retrieved 1 April Bevington, David In Dutton, Richard ed. New York: St. Martin's Press. Broich, Ulrich In Jansohn, Christa ed. International studies in Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. Cavendish, Dominic 21 June The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 September Charles, Gerard Archived from the original on 1 May Retrieved 29 January Forward, Stephanie 1 August The Open University. Archived from the original on 7 October Retrieved 2 June Garner, Shirley Nelson In Kehler, Dorothea ed.

Garland reference library of the humanities. Psychology Press. Gibson, Gloria J. McQueen, M. Sinclair, R. Cash and T. Cade Bambara". Black Camera. Indiana University Press. Green, Douglas E. Halliday, F. A Shakespeare Companion — Baltimore: Penguin. Howard, Jean E. Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hunt, Maurice South Central Review. Internet Off-Broadway Database. Kehler, Dorothea Kiernan, Victor Gordon Shakespeare, Poet and Citizen. London: Verso. Kimber, Marian Wilson The Musical Quarterly. Oxford University Press. MacQueen, Scott University of Minnesota Press. Mancewicz, Aneta Intermedial Shakespeares on European Stages.

Palgrave Studies in Performance and Technology. Marks, Peter 28 May Archived from the original on 22 April Retrieved 22 November Marshall, David The Johns Hopkins University Press. Montrose, Louis A Shakespeare Reader: Sources and Criticism. London: Macmillan Press. O'Donovan, Gerard 30 May Archived from the original on 5 August Reynolds, Norman 14 July Archived from the original on 29 November Retrieved 11 May The play uses the principle of discordia concors in several of its key scenes.

Theseus and Hippolyta represent marriage and, symbolically, the reconciliation of the natural seasons or the phases of time. Hippolyta's story arc is that she must submit to Theseus and become a matron. Titania has to give up her motherly obsession with the changeling boy and passes through a symbolic death, and Oberon has to once again woo and win his wife. Kehler notes that Zimbardo took for granted the female subordination within the obligatory marriage, social views that were already challenged in the s.

In , James L. Calderwood offered a new view on the role of Oberon. He viewed the king as specialising in the arts of illusion. Oberon, in his view, is the interior dramatist of the play, orchestrating events. He is responsible for the play's happy ending, when he influences Theseus to overrule Egeus and allow the lovers to marry. Oberon and Theseus bring harmony out of discord. He also suggested that the lovers' identities, which are blurred and lost in the forest, recall the unstable identities of the actors who constantly change roles.

In fact the failure of the artisans' play is based on their chief flaw as actors: they can not lose their own identities to even temporarily replace them with those of their fictional roles. Also in , Andrew D. Weiner argued that the play's actual theme is unity. The poet's imagination creates unity by giving form to diverse elements, and the writer is addressing the spectator's own imagination which also creates and perceives unity. Weiner connected this unity to the concept of uniformity, and in turn viewed this as Shakespeare's allusion to the "eternal truths" [44] of Platonism and Christianity.

Also writing in , Hugh M. Richmond offered an entirely new view of the play's love story lines. He argued that what passes for love in this play is actually a self-destructive expression of passion. He argued that the play's significant characters are all affected by passion and by a sadomasochistic type of sexuality. This passion prevents the lovers from genuinely communicating with each other. At the same time it protects them from the disenchantment with the love interest that communication inevitably brings.

The exception to the rule is Bottom, who is chiefly devoted to himself. His own egotism protects him from feeling passion for anyone else. Richmond also noted that there are parallels between the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe , featured in this play, and that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In , Ralph Berry argued that Shakespeare was chiefly concerned with epistemology in this play.

The lovers declare illusion to be reality, the actors declare reality to be illusion. The play ultimately reconciles the seemingly opposing views and vindicates imagination. The mood is so lovely that the audience never feels fear or worry about the fate of the characters. In , Marjorie Garber argued that metamorphosis is both the major subject of the play and the model of its structure. She noted that in this play, the entry in the woods is a dream-like change in perception, a change which affects both the characters and the audience.

Dreams here take priority over reason, and are truer than the reality they seek to interpret and transform. He was certain that there are grimmer elements in the play, but they are overlooked because the audience focuses on the story of the sympathetic young lovers. He viewed the characters as separated into four groups which interact in various ways. Among the four, the fairies stand as the most sophisticated and unconstrained.

The contrasts between the interacting groups produce the play's comic perspective. In , Ronald F. Miller expresses his view that the play is a study in the epistemology of imagination. He focused on the role of the fairies, who have a mysterious aura of evanescence and ambiguity.

He in part refuted the ideas of Jan Kott concerning the sexuality of Oberon and the fairies. He pointed that Oberon may be bisexual and his desire for the changeling boy may be sexual in nature, as Kott suggested. But there is little textual evidence to support this, as the writer left ambiguous clues concerning the idea of love among the fairies. He concluded that therefore their love life is "unknowable and incomprehensible". It is the tension between the dark and benevolent sides of love, which are reconciled in the end.

In , M.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lecture 2 of 3)

Lamb suggested that the play may have borrowed an aspect of the ancient myth of Theseus: the Athenian's entry into the Labyrinth of the Minotaur. The woods of the play serve as a metaphorical labyrinth, and for Elizabethans the woods were often an allegory of sexual sin. The lovers in the woods conquer irrational passion and find their way back. Bottom with his animal head becomes a comical version of the Minotaur. Bottom also becomes Ariadne's thread which guides the lovers. In having the new Minotaur rescue rather than threaten the lovers, the classical myth is comically inverted.

Theseus himself is the bridegroom of the play who has left the labyrinth and promiscuity behind, having conquered his passion. The artisans may stand in for the master craftsman of the myth, and builder of the Labyrinth, Daedalus. Even Theseus' best known speech in the play, which connects the poet with the lunatic and the lover may be another metaphor of the lover. It is a challenge for the poet to confront the irrationality he shares with lovers and lunatics, accepting the risks of entering the labyrinth. Also in , Harold F.

Brooks agreed that the main theme of the play, its very heart, is desire and its culmination in marriage. All other subjects are of lesser importance, including that of imagination and that of appearance and reality. She argued that the play is about traditional rites of passage , which trigger development within the individual and society.

Theseus has detached himself from imagination and rules Athens harshly. The lovers flee from the structure of his society to the communitas of the woods. The woods serve here as the communitas , a temporary aggregate for persons whose asocial desires require accommodation to preserve the health of society. This is the rite of passage where the asocial can be contained.

Falk identified this communitas with the woods, with the unconscious, with the dream space. She argued that the lovers experience release into self-knowledge and then return to the renewed Athens. This is " societas ", the resolution of the dialectic between the dualism of communitas and structure. Also in , Christian critic R. Chris Hassel, Jr. The experience of the lovers and that of Bottom as expressed in his awakening speech teach them "a new humility, a healthy sense of folly".


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They just learned a lesson of faith. Hassel also thought that Theseus' speech on the lunatic, the lover, and the poet is an applause to imagination. But it is also a laughing rejection of futile attempts to perceive, categorise, or express it. Some of the interpretations of the play have been based on psychology and its diverse theories.

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Annotated) by William Shakespeare (eBook) - Lulu

In , Alex Aronson argued that Theseus represents the conscious mind and Puck represents the unconscious mind. Puck, in this view, is a guise of the unconscious as a trickster , while remaining subservient to Oberon. Aronson thought that the play explores unauthorised desire and linked it to the concept of fertility.

He viewed the donkey and the trees as fertility symbols. The lovers' sexual desires are symbolised in their forest encounters. First, they have to pass through stages of madness multiple disguises , and discover their "authentic sexual selves". Holland applied psychoanalytic literary criticism to the play. He interpreted the dream of Hermia as if it was a real dream.

In his view, the dream uncovers the phases of Hermia's sexual development. Her search for options is her defence mechanism. She both desires Lysander and wants to retain her virginity. In his view, Shakespeare suggests that love requires the risk of death. Love achieves force and direction from the interweaving of the life impulse with the deathward-release of sexual tension. He also viewed the play as suggesting that the healing force of love is connected to the acceptance of death, and vice versa.

In , Jan Lawson Hinely argued that this play has a therapeutic value. Shakespeare in many ways explores the sexual fears of the characters, releases them, and transforms them. And the happy ending is the reestablishment of social harmony. Patriarchy itself is also challenged and transformed, as the men offer their women a loving equality, one founded on respect and trust.

She even viewed Titania's loving acceptance of the donkey-headed Bottom as a metaphor for basic trust. This trust is what enables the warring and uncertain lovers to achieve their sexual maturity. In , Barbara Freedman argued that the play justifies the ideological formation of absolute monarchy , and makes visible for examination the maintenance process of hegemonic order. During the years of the Puritan Interregnum when the theatres were closed — , the comic subplot of Bottom and his compatriots was performed as a droll.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: ANNOTATED

Drolls were comical playlets, often adapted from the subplots of Shakespearean and other plays, that could be attached to the acts of acrobats and jugglers and other allowed performances, thus circumventing the ban against drama. When the theatres re-opened in , A Midsummer Night's Dream was acted in adapted form, like many other Shakespearean plays. John Frederick Lampe elaborated upon Leveridge's version in In , David Garrick did the opposite of what had been done a century earlier: he extracted Bottom and his companions and acted the rest, in an adaptation called The Fairies.

Frederic Reynolds produced an operatic version in In , Madame Vestris at Covent Garden returned the play to the stage with a relatively full text, adding musical sequences and balletic dances. Vestris took the role of Oberon, and for the next seventy years, Oberon and Puck would always be played by women. After the success of Madame Vestris' production, 19th-century theatre continued to stage the Dream as a spectacle, often with a cast numbering nearly one hundred. Detailed sets were created for the palace and the forest, and the fairies were portrayed as gossamer-winged ballerinas.

The overture by Felix Mendelssohn was always used throughout this period. Augustin Daly 's production opened in in London and ran for 21 performances. Herbert Beerbohm Tree staged a production which featured "mechanical birds twittering in beech trees, a simulated stream, fairies wearing battery-operated lighting, and live rabbits following trails of food across the stage. Max Reinhardt staged A Midsummer Night's Dream thirteen times between and , [57] introducing a revolving set.

On the strength of this production, Warner Brothers signed Reinhardt to direct a filmed version , Hollywood's first Shakespeare movie since Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Brown and Dick Powell. Director Harley Granville-Barker introduced in a less spectacular way of staging the Dream : he reduced the size of the cast and used Elizabethan folk music instead of Mendelssohn.

He replaced large, complex sets with a simple system of patterned curtains. He portrayed the fairies as golden robotic insectoid creatures based on Cambodian idols. His simpler, sparer staging significantly influenced subsequent productions. In , Peter Brook staged the play for the Royal Shakespeare Company in a blank white box, in which masculine fairies engaged in circus tricks such as trapeze artistry. There have been several variations since then, including some set in the s. The Maryland Shakespeare Players at University of Maryland staged a queer production in where the lovers were same-sex couples and the mechanicals were drag queens.

The University of Michigan 's Nichols Arboretum 's programme Shakespeare in the Arb has presented a play every summer since The performance takes place in several places, with actors and audience moving together to each setting. In the first production of Emma Rice as the artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe , she has carried the play to Indies, with Indian characters, probably a reference to Gervinus.

The last performance was broadcast live all around the world through internet. In this story, Shakespeare and his company perform the play for the real Oberon and Titania and an audience of fairies. The play is heavily quoted in the comic, and Shakespeare's son Hamnet appears in the play as the Indian boy. Terry Pratchett 's book Lords and Ladies is a parody of the play.

The Fairy-Queen is an opera from by Henry Purcell , based on the play. In , Felix Mendelssohn composed a concert overture , inspired by the play, that was first performed in In , partly because of the fame of the overture, and partly because his employer King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia liked the incidental music that Mendelssohn had written for other plays that had been staged at the palace in German translation, Mendelssohn was commissioned to write incidental music for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that was to be staged in in Potsdam.

He incorporated the existing Overture into the incidental music, which was used in most stage versions through the 19th century. The best known of the pieces from the incidental music is the famous Wedding March , frequently used as a recessional in weddings. The revival premiered 14 July English choreographer Frederick Ashton also created a minute ballet version of the play, retitled to The Dream.

George Balanchine was another to create a Midsummer Night's Dream ballet based on the play, using Mendelssohn's music. Between and Carl Orff also wrote incidental music for a German version of the play, Ein Sommernachtstraum performed in Since Mendelssohn's parents were Jews who converted to Lutheranism, his music had been banned by the Nazi regime, and the Nazi cultural officials put out a call for new music for the play: Orff was one of the musicians who responded. He later reworked the music for a final version, completed in The play was adapted into an opera , with music by Benjamin Britten and libretto by Britten and Peter Pears.

The opera was first performed on 11 June at Aldeburgh. The theatre company, Moonwork put on a production of Midsummer in The music for the rest of the show was written by Andrew Sherman. In a three-act opera by Delannoy entitled Puck was premiered in Strasbourg. Progressive Rock guitarist Steve Hackett , best known for his work with Genesis , made a classical adaptation of the play in Hans Werner Henze 's Eighth Symphony is inspired by sequences from the play.

The Alexander W. A Midsummer Night's Dream has been adapted as a film many times. The following are the best known. In , British astronomer William Herschel discovered two new moons of Uranus that he named after characters in the play: Oberon , and Titania. Another Uranian moon, discovered in by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, has been named Puck. Titania and Bottom by John Anster Fitzgerald.

Henry Meynell Rheam : Titania welcoming her fairy brethren. La Folie de Titania , by Paul Gervais , All references to A Midsummer Night's Dream , unless otherwise specified, are taken from the Arden Shakespeare 2nd series edition. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see A Midsummer Night's Dream disambiguation. Puck by Joshua Reynolds , Retrieved 12 April Shakespeare Reloaded. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 18 January The Shakespearean World. Retrieved 12 October — via Google Books. Shakespeare and Music: Afterlives and Borrowings.

Shakespearean Music in the Plays and Early Operas. Ardent Media. Brooks, Harold F. A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Arden Shakespeare , 2nd series. Ball, Robert Hamilton [first published ]. Routledge Library Editions: Film and Literature. London: Routledge. Barnes, Clive 18 April The New York Times. Retrieved 31 March Retrieved 1 April Bevington, David In Dutton, Richard ed.

New York: St. Martin's Press. Broich, Ulrich In Jansohn, Christa ed. International studies in Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. Cavendish, Dominic 21 June The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 September Charles, Gerard Archived from the original on 1 May Retrieved 29 January Forward, Stephanie 1 August