"The course of true love never did run smooth" (Lysander, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 1, Scene 1). Shakespeare's practically promotes this concept throughout the play, further reinforcing it by using the tension that emerges from the unusual relationships between some of the characters. It is not necessarily love that creates this tension, as it is actually the difficulty related to it that appeals to individuals watching the play. When love initially experiences progress in the play, fantasy prevents characters from being happy because of it, as it is asymmetrical, with two men loving the same woman while another woman is left with no one to love her. Titania's passion for Bottom makes matters even more confusing, considering that it seems very improbable for her to really want to put across any feelings toward the unsuccessful actor. Bottom contrasts Titania through his physical ugliness and through the fact that he is not as refined as the fairy queen. The overall implausibility for such relationships to exist and the complexity of love are definitely Shakesperean in character. Typical for Shakespeare, the Lysander-Hermia couple and the Helena-Demetrius couple come to exist because of the fact that these young people are unhesitant about acting against their parents' wishes (Meader, 1954, p. 170).
The comedic elements in the play refresh the concept of love and make it less sober. Youthful love is one of the main concepts that makes love in general seem serious, given that it is irrational and sometimes foolish. Comedy takes audiences through a chain of events without allowing them to fall victim to their own mistakes, as they eventually mature as a result of the unnatural world intervening in their lives. In spite of the fact that they come across great impediments in finding their love, they come to understand what love means and, with the help of Theseus and Hippolyta, they manage to be reunited with the persons they love. Shakespeare uses comedy as a means to have people understand more complex matters that are not actually amusing. The experiences that the lovers come across while in the forest appear to be a very important part of their maturing process, especially given that they all find peace once they are no longer under the influence of Puck's magical substances. The comedic experience in the play is strongly related with the relationships that emerge between its characters and with the overall celebration atmosphere.
Shakespeare is much like Puck when considering his tendency to involve humor in any situation. He does not hesitate to have audiences confused as a result of sending mixed messages meant to have them think that they too are dreaming and that it is very likely that what they are seeing is unreal. Courtship is a consequence of ...
Michael Hoffman's motion picture A Midsummer Night's Dream takes Shakespeare's play even further and presents the public with a more up-to-date version of it. The film actually puts across a dreamlike world where nothing is as viewers expect it to be. In spite of his apparent clumsiness, Nick Bottom has viewers loose their interest in the love-related elements in the movie in order to appreciate the complexity of his character, this most probably being a result of the fact that Kevin Kline perfectly understood the director's perspective regarding his role. One is very probable to learn more concerning Shakespearean comedy and love as a result of watching this motion picture, as the relationship between the characters and the scene where they fight in the mud are particularly important in determining the comedic character of the film and the intricacy related to love.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" expresses love, comedy, and courtship as concepts that can be wrongly understood by a general public. Shakespeare intended his plays to provide people with a different perspective in regard to matters that seemed unambiguous.
1. Meader, William G. Its Relation to the Tradition of Courtly Love (New York: King's Crown Press, 1954)
2. Shakespeare, William. "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Retrieved June 22, 2011, from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare Website: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/midsummer.1.1.html
3. A Midsummer Night's Dream.…
Typical for Shakespeare, the Lysander-Hermia couple and the Helena-Demetrius couple come to exist because of the fact that these young people are unhesitant about acting against their parents' wishes (Meader, 1954, p. 170).
Shakespearean Social Comedy -- Saturnalian inversion or soulful exploration of social outsiders? Barber's book, Shakespeare's Festive Comedy argues for a socially harmonious interpretation of Shakespeare's comedic plays. In contrast, the scholar Richard A. Levine's Love and Society in Shakespeare's Comedy proposes a socially subversive reading of the Shakespearean comedy, as kind of hidden tragedies of 'outsider' figures, rather than Saturnalian revelry. This contrast between the two authors may orginate in the
And while it may seem silly upon first reading or seeing the play, it is clear that a Midsummer Night's Dream also has quite serious ideas. Scholars have noted that the play includes a cultural critique of the Elizabethan era in which it is set (Lamb 93-124). Other critics have noted that the play may contain quite subversive ideas regarding the fluid nature of sexual identity (Green 369-370). Whatever
This echoes life. To others we present as a simple person, perhaps even shallow and one-dimensional. Yet inside we are a mass of interminable twists and turns of plots and subplots. The story must reflect positive morality or, as Aristotle warned, when storytelling goes bad, the result is decadence. As stories become more extravagant and violent, and all the areas of storytelling - acting, stage settings or environments, music,
Imbalance, even in love, can produce negative and unwanted effects that affect more than two people. The tempest is another Shakespearean play that is set both in the real and fantastic world. The two real are interwoven and deliberately confusing. The action of the play is swinging back and forth in time. Prospero, the Duke of Milan, is recounting for his daughter Miranda the events that led to their living
Saturnalia and Shakespearean Comedy C.L. Barber argues that all of Shakespeare's festival comedies, such as "A Midsummer's Nights Dream" and "Twelfth Night," make us of the convention of the Roman Saturnalia. During Saturnalia in ancient Rome, the social norms of that world were turned upside down. Paupers were allowed to don the robes of the gentry, and slaves enacted the role of kings. This was not simply a fun ritual to
Juliet's speeches to the Friar after learning that she must marry Paris in a week's time indicate this as she lists the horrors she would rather endure: "bid me leap... / From off the battlements of any tower...lurk / Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears..." (Riverside 1130, IV.i. 77-80). She continues in much the same vein, and this is not her only moment of such emotional extremity.