Midsummer and Elizabeth
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedic drama that centers on marriage. Indeed, it is traditionally held that Shakespeare penned the play for a friend's wedding; therefore, it should be no surprise to find that the theme of marriage runs through and through Midsummer, from the young adults to the nobility (and even to the fairy world, where marital strife is encountered). Yet, being penned in an age when the Queen of England herself never married, one may think that Midsummer serves as a kind of critique of Elizabeth. If the medieval view of women (both common and noble) was that they were for two things (either the cloister or the married state), it would appear that Elizabeth had certainly bucked that trend. Yet Elizabethan England itself was on the cusp of bucking the medieval world: it had already abandoned the Church of the old world; and…… [Read More]
He forgives her and order is restored in the fairy world thanks to the proper balance of love between head and heart.
As for the actors who go into the woods to prepare for their play before the king and queen of Athens -- they too show a side of love. Bottom shows what happens when one lacks imagination: he is the most unimaginative actor in the history of theater and thinks that the audience is as equally unimaginative as he is. He believes they will take everything literally and that, for example, when one of them behaves as a lion on stage, the audience will think it is a real lion and run for its life. He does not give the audience the benefit of the doubt (a form of love, charity) and therefore is a foolish actor.
However, Theseus wisely and kindly gives Bottom the benefit of the…… [Read More]
Even fairies struggle with love and romance. Oberon and Titania bicker; because of Puck's potion, Titania even falls in love with an ass. Puck's potion illustrates the fleeting nature of sexual attraction, too.
At the opening of a Midsummer Night's Dream, Demetrius is in love with Hermia but Hermia is in love with Lysander. Lysander returns the affection. Hermia's best friend Helena, on the other hand, does love Demetrius and the two were once engaged. Demetrius, interestingly, has a thing for Hermia and so Shakespeare creates a farcical array of love triangles that propel the plot of the play.
Demetrius' injured ego and pride is what compels him to enter into the woods, kick-starting the adventures of all four of the young Athenians. Jealousy is not just a human emotion in a Midsummer Night's Dream, as fairy queen Titania is angry that her husband Oberon has become smitten with a…… [Read More]
The soul of girl/woman Jenna is returned to normal at the end of the film, and the girl's knowledge about working as an adult editor on a magazine, the true nature of her chief junior high school tormenter, and Matt's worth as an older man make her a more mature thirteen-year-old, thus the delving into fantasy make the real world 'better,' as in "Midsummer," and more moral and thus more orderly than it was before. Jenna's old self is given new insight about what is right, and her thirty-year-old self benefits from her injection of youthful enthusiasm as Jenna as an "awkward 13-year-old who gets her wish and awakens as a 30-year-old" manages to "fix the empty life her shallow adult self has created" (Johns 2004).
Thus in both the film and the play, the intervention of the supernatural improves the world, making it temporarily disorderly in a human way,…… [Read More]
However, Titania appears in this scene and so does a fairy who is probably female. The biggest problem for the audience would be Titania, who is supposed to be beautiful and wise, which helps the audience understand why Oberon is so obsessed with gaining her love. If Titania is not believable, the play will not work. This scene also needs to show Oberon's weak will, but not turn him into a buffoon. This scene would need special handling from the director to make sure Titania seems right to the audience. Too strong a male presence will ruin the mood, so the actor must show a hint of femaleness and a hint of seduction to indicate just why Oberon wants her so badly. Too much femaleness would again take away from the entire scene. These characters make poor choices and are emotional, and that needs to come through to the audience,…… [Read More]
Midsummer Night's Dream
illiam Shakespeare's play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was written in 1595. A woman's role in her family and community were determined by a patriarchal society. It was during this time, after all, that women were being burned at the stake all across Europe.
The play begins in an Athenian palace just before the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, "Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour / Draws on apace" (I:I:I) Hippolyta is the legendary Queen of the Amazons whom has been conquered and now weds the Duke. Perhaps because of the legends associated with the matriarchal society of the Amazons, Shakespeare portrays Hippolyta as a woman conquered, indicating that the Queen of the Amazons must certainly be conquered before accepting a man in marriage. It is presumed that Theseus and Hippolyta met in combat, and so he promises her that although he wooed her in…… [Read More]
There are many elements of Renaissance England seen in the play as well as some elements that refer to Ancient Greece that suggest a combining of worlds.
The play, from a humanistic perspective, suggests that everyone is out for themselves and for succeeding in their own quest for love -- despite what the object of his or her affection wants. Midsummer also seems to suggest that humans don't have much control over their relationships and that they are merely products of their environment. Oberon reacts out of revenge when he enlists the aid of Puck. From a humanistic perspective, it's also interesting to not that Shakespeare seems to be suggesting how little control humans have over their own lives. Regardless of the fact that the players are in mysterious woods where fairies are up to mischief, Shakespeare seems to be making a point about the capriciousness of humans -- especially…… [Read More]
Midsummer Night's Dream
The difficulty of love is one of the predominant themes in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. While love itself is not a theme of the play, Shakespeare uses romantic elements, and troubles stemming from romance throughout the play. Shakespeare's characters successfully distance themselves from the emotional side of love to keep the play lighthearted and funny. There is much more fun in poking fun, apparently.
There are internal elements that interfere with the romances in the play - most notably inequalities in the relationship. The prime example of such an imbalance is in the situation between four of the main characters - Hermia who loves Lysander; Lysander who loves Hermia; Helena who loves Demetrius, and Demetrius who loves Hermia. One woman has too few suitors, and one woman has too many. Emotions, and feelings are a predominant source of imbalance, and can be seen in another relationship…… [Read More]
Although this may seem prudish, Hermia is wise -- she has just eloped with Lysander, and she needs to make sure that he marries her, to preserve her position in society. And when she mistakenly believes that her beloved, for whom she has risked everything, including her father's affection and her good name, is taken away by her best friend, she is even willing to defend herself physically:
Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem;
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach…… [Read More]
Midsummer Night's Dream
illiam Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream is ostensibly concerned with heterosexual marriage, but it is seldom noted just how disturbing the play's picture of marriage seems. The subject is seldom raised without mention of death or conquest: even the farcical drama enacted in the play's final act by the rude mechanicals is a story of two lovers who die violently, except the story is played for laughs. I would like to show by an examination of several key motifs in the play -- the relations between fathers and daughters, the friendships between women, and the status of men and women in the play's erotic couplings -- that Shakespeare's real subject in the play is the status of women. A Midsummer Night's Dream stands out for its portrayal of a culture in which women are labeled as inferior and rendered as powerless.
The subjection of women is…… [Read More]
Midsummer Night's Dream is the quintessential romantic parody. Involving the use of magic potions and mythical creatures, Shakespeare portrays love as a potentially ridiculous pursuit and one totally devoid of reason. When Bottom states to Titania in Act 3, Scene 1, "reason and love keep little company together nowadays," he sums up one of the main themes of the play. Reason and love usually do not coexist, for emotions take on a life of their own. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare exaggerates this common knowledge with genuine comedy and delightful farce. Throughout the play, three types of beings exemplify the irrationality of love. The noble morals, like Hermia and Lysander; the commoners, like Bottom and Quince; and the mythical creatures, the fairies, all typify this theme. From the very first scene, the audience witnesses the absurdity of romantic pursuits.
Hermia, Helena, Demetrius, and Lysander, along with Theseus, Hippolyta,…… [Read More]
Magic in a Midsummer Night's Dream and the Tempest
By examining the use of magic in illiam Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest, one can see not only how magic functions within the context of the plays, but also how the use of magic and enchantment would have been received by their historical audiences. Though instigated with differing motives and applied with differing levels of expertise in either play, magic primarily functions to instigate a farcical confusion on the part of the characters, and even though magic is deployed by central, "good" characters, the use of magic is ultimately repudiated by the end of the play, in both cases with a direct appeal to the audience. The use of magic to confuse and control characters, as well as this direct repudiation present in an appeal to the audience reveals that although magic is a central theme of both…… [Read More]
Shakespeare play a Midsummer Night's Dream. http://s
The setting of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is extremely important to the correct interpretation of this work of literature, as well as to the development of its plot. Although the setting -- which is explicitly the time and place in which actions in a work of literature take place -- are of importance in any drama, it is all the more critical to this play of Shakespeare's due to the central theme. Like many of the bard's works, this play deals with love, its mishaps, and its reconciliation. However, it chiefly does so through the means of magi, a magic which involves the supernatural, spirits, and fairies. A close read of A Midsummer Night's Dream reveals that the author manipulates certain aspects of the setting to provide the proper background for the copious amounts of magic that fuel the play's plot…… [Read More]
In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the social order of both the fairy world and of Athens is disrupted and complicated by a series of mishaps, conflicts, and mistakes. In the fairy world, the trouble starts between Oberon (King of the Fairies) and his wife Titania. They are fighting over a changeling, which Oberon wants in his retinue but which Titania refuses to give up as it belonged to one of her devotees. The squabble causes the fairy king and queen to separate. In Athens, the problems abound as well: two young lovers, Hermia and Lysander, are fleeing Athens because of Egeus (Hermia’s father), who has refused to assent to their marriage (Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius). Hermia does not wish to wed Demetrius; Helena loves Demetrius; but Demetrius wants nothing to do with Helena (he has loved Helena once but now has eyes for Hermia). Demetrius follows after…… [Read More]
Theseus reminds Hermia that the person she is, with her beauty as an asset that is so appreciated by Lysander, is because she is the product of her father. She is "but as a form in wax (Shakespeare online), a reproduction of her father, "By him imprinted within his power (Shakespeare online).
Johnnie Patricia Mobley resolves the conflict between the characters of Hermia and Helena (on whose behalf Oberon intercedes with his good intentions of administering the magic potion). Hermia and Lysander do this by sharing with Helena their plan to run away beyond the authority of Hermia's father so that they can be together (Mobley 16). This is Shakespeare's way of addressing the love triangle, which must have often come up in the lives of people whose marriages were arranged. It also looks at the solution for Hermia and Lysander, and Oberon's intervention gives the audience, and Hermia, time…… [Read More]
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 way you choose to interpret a Midsummer Night's Dream, the play's goofy characters, outrageous situations, and rich language have ensured the play's status as a classic work of English literature.
Casey, Charles. "Was Shakespeare Gay? Sonnet 20 and the Politics of Pedagogy."
College Literature, Fall 1998. 29 November 2007. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3709/is_199810/ai_n8827074.
Gibson, H.N. The Shakespeare Claimants: A Critical Survey of the Four Principal
Theories Concerning the Authorship of the Shakespearean Plays. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Green, Douglas E. "Preposterous Pleasures: Queer…… [Read More]
Those who watch the play make comments about how silly the play is and the play becomes more and more ridiculous, adding the parts of a Lion and Moonshine, played by two more rustics. In the play, the principle actors, Thisby and Pyramus kill themselves, as Romeo and Juliet did, then Pyramus rises to sing about his death, slumps into death, and then rises again to ask the audience if they would like to see an epilogue. Being refused an epilogue, the rustics leave and four fairies come in to dance and Puck chases them away with a broom before Oberon and Tytania appear with the other fairies, who claim they are off to bless lovers, as they themselves are in love.
The ending shows that purity and innocence win out, and that the ideal is the goal for all. Puck has the final say as he declares "all is…… [Read More]
This is why Shakespeare included a character and plot of such low comedy in a play with such far-reaching and complex themes; in the end, all of the complexity boils down to a few very simple facts bout humanity. As Valerie Traub notes, "early modern England was a culture of contradictions, with official ideology often challenged by actual social practice," and Midsummer makes this exceedingly clear (131). Such contradictions necessarily lead to complications, as the central plot of the play (that of the lovers) clearly illustrates, and though these complications are comedic in their own way it is also hysterical watching someone who is unabashedly human -- and quite asinine in several senses because of it. His transformation is yet one more piece of honesty that Shakespeare includes in his commentary on humanity.
This aspect of both the character and the pay is captured brilliantly in Michael Hoffman's 1999 film…… [Read More]
Oberon and Titania are thus not above the common desires and petty passions that motivate all mortals -- but they know the harms that their jealousies can do, even on a cosmological level, accept that infidelity is a part of life -- and when moved use more creative ways to wage war with the opposite sex. Titiana is jealous of Hippolyta, her most obvious human parallel, given that she has also enjoyed a relationship with Theseus, but she extracts no revenge -- she simply moves on, as Oberon can love a shepherdess, a young boy, and his queen. At their most profound and insightful, the ageless fairies seem to be able to accept that beings such as themselves will have multiple passions, even though they still have the feelings of a human-like creature. This is unlike the four adolescent lovers who literally fall to blows when they suspect infidelity,…… [Read More]
Theseus and Hippolyta are two characters from ancient Greek legends and their presence in the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare serves to ground the action of the play in a certain time and place in history—or at least in myth, as Forey, Panoksky and Saxl show. The myth aspect of these two characters also allows Shakespeare to play up the other myth quality of the play—that is, the woodland spirits and fairies who lead the four Athenian youths into so much trouble as they seek to engage in wooing and romance. Theseus and Hippolyta may not be very active in the play, but they certainly do provide the comedy with sufficient backdrop to give it a playful, mythological, fun-filled dynamism that brings the action full-circle and caps it off with a few pleasant reminders for newlyweds (which is what Theseus and Hippolyta are at the end of…… [Read More]
" Creating this intermediary set of characters is one of the main techniques Shakespeare uses to confound appearance and reality in a Midsummer Night's Dream.
Act II reveals yet another layer of Shakespeare's reality in a Midsummer Night's Dream. In Act II, the central human drama is shifted from the realistic and familiar world of Athenian reality to the world of the woods in which fairies dwell. Even the fairies allude to yet another layer of reality, when Puck recalls the story of Oberon and Titania fighting over the Indian prince: "Oberon is passing fell and wrath, / Because that she as her attendant hath / a lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king," (Act II, scene i). Moreover, it is soon revealed that the alternative forest reality is filled with different laws of physics than the familiar worlds. Shakespeare shows that these two worlds are well-integrated and blend seamlessly…… [Read More]
Perhaps because of this reference to contemporary political ideals, the romance of Shakespeare seems more archetypal than the immediately relevant sociological commentary of "est Side Story." Bernstein's musical is unapologetically topical, dealing with the 1950s obsession with juvenile delinquency and even common theories to explain it, as in the song "Gee Officer Krupkie" which suggests alternatively that delinquency is caused by society, psychology, and also a young thug being "no damn good." hile Shakespeare's conflict between young desires and old hatreds and resistance to change could apply to a variety of contexts, from ancient times as in the case of Pyramus and Thisbe, to the lovers of Brooke's history of Italy, to New York City gangs, to Bosnia, Bernstein's specific focus on the linguistic differences between Puerto Ricans and whites in their speeches and songs, the significance of juvenile crime in American society, and specific cultural ideals like that…… [Read More]
The Violin Concerto was one of the last works of Mendelssohn and this was composed in E Minor. It is also hugely popular and is performed by artists all over the world. Published in 1845, this piece was written for a solo violinist and the average performance time is about half hour. The piece begins with the Allegro molto appassionato that goes on for about thirteen minutes. It is in E minor and starts with rapid notes that slowly subside. This is followed by the cadenza that gains rapid notes and rhythms in E Major before ending in E minor again.
The second part of this piece is Andante that lasts for about nine minutes. The composition moves from E Minor to C Major. This is the melody part of the piece and is dark and grim in certain places. This pieces ends with a trembling effect that…… [Read More]
hile Shakespeare attracted his fair share of criticism during his day, it is also clear that many of his contemporaries as well as the general public viewed Shakespeare's work in a positive light. For example, Callaghan (2004) points out that, "hile we do not know how much Shakespeare was paid for the plays he furnished his company, it is clear that the greatest part of the handsome fortune Shakespeare had started to amass as early as the 1590s came from his share in the profits of his company rather than from his plays" (405). This relative affluence apparently helped to provide a sort of comfort zone for Shakespeare that allowed him to write when and what he wanted and for whatever audience he desired in ways that contributed to his ultimate success as a playwright as well as the enduring qualities of his works. For instance, Callaghan adds that, "For…… [Read More]
Midsummer's Night Dream
ere the actors believable in their roles?
I did not find all of the actors particularly believable in their roles. I could not help noticing that several of the members of the cast forgot their lines or misspoke their lines, sometimes saying a line in the wrong place. Knowing the play well, this really threw me off and took me out of the moment of the performance. I felt there was a lot of timing issues with the performers at well where they would not hit their mark or missed their cue.
Identify the performers you considered most successful.
Of all the performers in the play, I felt that the actress playing the role of Hermia excelled in her role. She made the love and despondency and anger very palpable which was conveyed easily to the audience.
If there were performers you did not like, identify…… [Read More]
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a piece of literature that incorporates the use of various writing styles for various characters. Some of these writing styles include prose and complex form of poetry. While prose enables Bottom and his friends to have a simple, rustic quality, the complex form of poetry presents a superb beauty and magic of the fairy kingdom. The audience laughs at the take of mistaken identity and frustrated love in which lovers change their object of love while believing their feelings are totally sincere. Based on the three themes presented in the play, a Midsummer Night's Dream provokes certain profound and difficult questions.
Davis, H.K., Ellis, W.G. & eed, a.J.S. (n.d.). A Teacher's Guide to the Signet Classic Edition
of William Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream. etrieved June 12, 2013, from http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/pdf/teachersguides/midsummer.pdf
Loutro, G. & Shurin, a. (1985). William Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream.
Hauppauge,…… [Read More]
The quick shifts of the young lovers' giddy affections thus take place in the 'real world' of Athens, just as they do under the power of Puck's magic. Love in fairyland is not that different from the real world, it only looks different on stage and screen. Even when there are misunderstandings, these misunderstandings are often merely illustrations of a larger truth, as when Hermia wrongly accuse Helena of taking Lysander from her -- she correctly accuses Helena of betrayal, just the wrong kind of betrayal. And Hermia unwittingly, temporarily won Demetrius from Helena in the real world, just as Helena wins the affection of both men in the forest, because of Puck's magic. The ways in which the never-never land of the woods parallel 'real' life in Athens point out how dreams and desire, while they may seem separated from real life, are also heightened reflections of real-world concerns.…… [Read More]
Supernatural in Renaissance Drama
There are things in heaven and earth, not dreamt of in the philosophy of Horatio, not simply in "Hamlet" but also in the "Midsummer's Night Dream" of Shakespeare, and the "Dr. Faustus" of Christopher Marlowe. But while all of these plays deal with the theme of human aspirations in a world with a permeable, rather than an impermeable wall between humanity and the supernatural, "Dr. Faustus" suggests that breaking down this wall is initially fun and playful, although it has dire consequences at the end for the play's protagonist. Marlowe's cartoon characters and images of conventional morality, combined with heightened language convey humor rather than horror, until Faustus is condemned to hell for all eternity. The even lighter "Midsummer's Night Dream" also suggests in its early language an initial playfulness for the human and supernatural lovers who engage in transgressing sensual activities. But this comedy set…… [Read More]
My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore, in faith, twas strange, 'twas passing strange,
Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her, should but teach him how to tell my story.
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used:
Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
Setting: The inside of the administrative building. Nighttime. Othello is wearing a suit, and is confronted by the school's president, 'Dr. B,' and several members of the administration in their pajamas.
John Othello: Look Dr. B,…… [Read More]
Clip: Oberon and Titania 1935 (clip available on You Tube)
Foolish fairies and mortals: Multiple interpretations of Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream has been interpreted and reinterpreted many times. One of the most popular cinematic versions, directed by Max Reinhardt in 1935, depicts the play as a fantastic spectacle. The fairy king Oberon and the fairy queen Titania are shown as otherworldly beings, flitting through the air, shimmering and transparent. Oberon is manly and aggressive, while Titania is shy, retiring, and feminine in her tenderness.
However, the actual text of the play seems to belie such an interpretation. Shakespeare's words stress the humanness of the fairy characters as well as their fantastical nature. Oberon is frustrated with his inability to control Titania on their first meeting. He wants a young boy in her entourage, the child of a woman whom Titania loved. Although the fairy…… [Read More]
Wallace x) Three psycho-sociological concepts which are well represented in the film are conformity of group behavior, gender roles in adolescents, especially boys and narrow tradition based attitudes about what is valuable in society.
The whole film is based upon conformity of behavior according to accepted traditions and accepted societal standards of the 1950s in America. Acting was not an accepted vocation, as accepted vocations were those which carried prestige and high salaries. Society's judgment of the value of a job was its monetary worth. The school and its teachers are bound by the traditional mode of teaching, which is largely stale drill and practice with attendant exams. The value is based upon the idea of education being based upon how much information a student can store and regurgitate. It is especially well illustrated by the scene with Keating where he has the students tear out the introduction in…… [Read More]
Shakespeare After All -- Contrapunctual Love in "A Midsummer's Night's Dream"
In the introduction to her text, Shakespeare after All, scholar Marjorie Garber engages in the paradoxical task of making an argument that essentially Shakespeare's plays have no 'argument.' Garber states that although the different characters may argue amidst themselves, Shakespeare's plays take no final position as to what is the correct moral approach to life. Arguments about human behavior are submitted "contrapunctually" in Garber's phrase. For example, the reaffirmation of the patriarchal order and patriarchal control of marriage in "A Midsummer's Night's Dream," as expressed by Hermia's father in Act I of the play, is subverted by the marriage between Hermia and her beloved Lysander. Yet conventional gender dynamics are affirmed contrapunctually affirmed through the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta, as well as the newly submissive Titania to the antics of Oberon.
For example, one seamless or non-Garber-like reading…… [Read More]
It has been stated that there are only seven real story lines, upon which all literature is based. Whether or not this is true, modern literature often echoes myths or legends of long ago. Sometimes, the recycling of a tale is blatant, and other times it is subtle. William Shakespeare regularly made use of Greek myths, and folklore. In the play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Shakespeare's premise is that Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, a warrior he has captured, are to be married. Shakespeare has successfully created a plotline based, if only loosely, on the greek myths of Theseus and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons.
The myth of Theseus is one of the most popular of the Greek myths. There are many different stories that involve Theseus, but perhaps the most famous is the story of how Theseus killed the Minotaur. The greeks understood the myth in…… [Read More]
City and Country in 'The Prince of Tides'
William Shakespeare's comedies often differentiate between the staid, political atmosphere of the court and the city, and the raucous carnival atmosphere of the forest and the countryside. Often, characters will escape the court to the forest to explore their inner depths and their passions. The result is a dichotomy that permeates several of his plays: even from close textual analysis of one passage in a Shakespeare comedy, the reader is able to discern whether the scene takes place in the court or in the forest.
There is a similar breakdown in Pat Conroy's "Prince of Tides." Scenes and flashbacks switch between New York City and the low-country in South Carolina. Like in Shakespeare's comedies, "Prince of Tides" also makes it very easy to discern exactly where each scene is taking place. In a novel of violence, deception and denial, the low-country in…… [Read More]
"Sonnet 130" by Shakespeare and "Sonnet 23" by Louis Labe both talk about love, as so many sonnets do. Their respective techniques however, differentiate them from each other. Shakespeare uses a rhyme scheme that became known as Shakespearean rhyme scheme or English rhyme. He writes about love in a sarcastic manner though. He is mocking the traditional love poems and the usual expressive manner in which women are often compared to. It is ironic in a way because Shakespeare himself also uses the very techniques in his previous writing when he is writing from a man's point-of-view and describing a woman. But in this sonnet he uses the technique of mocking this exaggerated comparison. Usually women are compared to having skin as white as snow, however, in reality, Shakespeare points out, women don't really fit this description, "If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun."
Louis Labe…… [Read More]
ob einer's 1987 film The Princess Bride enjoyed only moderate box office revenues, but developed popular underground appeal and has become a cult classic. The enduring respect for einer's quirky romantic comedy is immediately apparent: it is far from formulaic, and does not truly fit in either to the "rom com" designation or that of a fantasy. The Princess Bride also includes a cast filled with luminaries like Peter Falk, Andre the Giant, and Christopher Guest. Its cast and celebrity director therefore enhances the credibility of The Princess Bride. Ultimately, though, the script and the overall tone of the film make The Princess Bride classically compelling. William Goldman's eponymous novel, upon which the film is based, transforms seamlessly into a film that capitalizes on the clever story-within-a-story concept. Peter Falk reads The Princess Bride to his grandson, who is staying home sick from school. At first, the grandson balks at…… [Read More]
The Ghost of Canterville Hall adapts Oscar Wilde's fairy tale and plays upon the middle school fascination with English ghosts and haunting: it depicts a ghost who has grown tired of haunting a family who needs the help of a young girl to be free of a curse.
The Magic Garden by Irene Corey is designed for theatre-goers between ages 5-9 and unfolds a nutritional tale: the battle of vegetables vs. sweets.
A Midsummer Night's Dream adapted by Aurand Harris uses William Shakespeare in a humorous fashion to introduce children to the Bard in this tale of mistaken identity, love, and mischievous fairies.
Dramatists Play Service
Dragonwings by Lawrence Yep is the story of a Chinese boy who comes to America and his struggles adjusting to life in his new country.
The Children's Crusade by Paul Thompson tells the tale of the failed idealism of young children in the 13th…… [Read More]
I especially appreciate the opportunity to place musical compositions and composers within a historical context. Placing music within a historical context illuminates some of the variables that characterize a piece like "ite of Spring." Understanding the cultural, political, and military events taking place during the composer's lifetime is essential to understanding the music. Although analyzing classical pieces can prove difficult because of shifting time signatures, counterpoint, and layering of sounds, I am now much more able to distinguish between different styles and composers. The course content has awoken my mind and my ears to rhythms and melodies and I look forward to exploring Western classical music more in-depth. For example, pieces like "ite of Spring" have made their way into movies and therefore continue to have an impact on musical culture.
Alsop, M. (2008). "Getting Hooked on the 'ite' Sound." NP MUSIC. etrieved Dec 19, 2008 at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9041627
Kelly,…… [Read More]
Today, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) is best known for his instrumental, choral, and operatic compositions as well as being the co-founder of the English Opera Group and the Aldeburgh Festival (Radloff 426). Although Britten's music is likely familiar to many modern observers, his name is probably unfamiliar to most and facts about his early life even less well-known. To determine these facts and the impact of his work, this paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning the composer, Benjamin Britten, including an in-depth analysis of one of his compositions. A summary of the research and important findings concerning Britten and his work are provided in the conclusion.
Review and Discussion
On November 22, 1913 (St. Cecilia's Day), Edward Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England (Craggs 3). Benjamin was the youngest child of five sons and two daughters (Brann 2) born to Robert…… [Read More]
Later, they share a kiss on their wedding night, and even more, as this statue implies. The statue embodies the love and physical relationship that comes with marriage, while the music embodies the very origins and roots of that relationship. Thus, the two go perfectly together. One leads to the other, and back again, in a perfect circle. Without love, there is usually not marriage, and without marriage for many people at least, there is no physical relationship. Therefore, these two works embody the two pieces of a committed relationship that bring it together and make it truly whole, and that is why I chose to combine them. I also feel odin is one of the most powerful and realistic modern sculptors, and I have always admired his work, which is why I turned to him in the first place.
Mendelssohn, Felix."Wedding March from a Midsummer Night's Dream." 2007.…… [Read More]
" James a.S. McPeek
further blames Jonson for this corruption: "No one can read this dainty song to Celia without feeling that Jonson is indecorous in putting it in the mouth of such a thoroughgoing scoundrel as Volpone."
asserts that the usual view of Jonson's use of the Catullan poem is distorted by an insufficient understanding of Catullus' carmina, which comes from critics' willingness to adhere to a conventional -- yet incorrect and incomplete -- reading of the love poem. hen Jonson created his adaptation of carmina 5, there was only one other complete translation in English of a poem by Catullus. That translation is believed to have been Sir Philip Sidney's rendering of poem 70 in Certain Sonnets, however, it was not published until 1598.
This means that Jonson's knowledge of the poem must have come from the Latin text printed in C. Val. Catulli, Albii, Tibulli, Sex.…… [Read More]
In these scenes, the Chorus adds something significant to the play.
The Chorus encourages us to use our "imaginary forces" and create the "might monarchies./hose high upreared and abutting fronts/the perilous narrow oceans parts asunder" (Prologue.21-3). In addition, the Chorus tells us to "Think when we talk horses that you see them/Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;/for 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings" (Prologue. 27-9). Here, the Chorus has an extended role in many ways because it is telling the audience how to use their imaginations where the stage is limited. The Chorus also apologizes for the crowded constriction of time we find in the last act. Members of the audience told:
humbly pray them to admit the excuse
Of time, of numbers, and due course of things,
hich cannot in their huge and proper life
Be here presented. (V.0.4-7)
The Chorus serves…… [Read More]
Balanchine to Petipa
George Balanchine was born in the year 1904. He was invited to come over the United States of America by Lincoln Kirstein, in the year 1933, and subsequently, Balanchine arrived in America in the month of October 1933. One of the very first things that Balanchine is reputed to have done after his arrival in the United States, was to found the 'School of American Ballet', which opened in the year 1934, with a class of twenty five students. It must be stated here that although Balanchine and Kirstein made several attempts through many years to start a Company, they did not succeed in their endeavor, but the School of American Ballet, however, has endured and remains intact, to this day. This was the Scholl through which Balanchine was able to present his very first ballet to the entire world, in America, which was named the 'Serenade'.…… [Read More]
Shakespeare used Music in his orks
illiam Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, is recognized all over the world as the greatest dramatist of all times. His plays have been performed more times than those of any other dramatist and have been translated in almost every major language. (Kastan) hile many aspects of Shakespeare's plays have been discussed and analyzed, it is perhaps not so widely known that music has also played an important role in many of his plays. In this paper we shall review the historical background of music in the Shakespearian era and discuss how and why music was used in Shakespeare's works. The type of music used by the playwright as well as some examples of music in specific plays shall also be described.
Historical Background of Music in the Shakespearian Era
The 16th century in which Shakespeare was born was a period when England was…… [Read More]
Swagger: Verb: To walk or conduct oneself with an insolent or arrogant air; strut. (Barrow, 2010)
'Swagger' may actually not even be as new as we think it to be. William Shakespeare invented an incredible 1,7000 new English words many of which we still use today -- and one of these was swagger, first used in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1590). (Others include bump, first used in omeo and Juliet, obscene, first used in Love's Labor's lost, and luggage, first used in King Henry IV, Part I) (The Atlantic 'Swagger' and Other Everyday Words Invented by Famous Authors). The etymology of 'swagger' although mostly connected nowadays to walk actually originates form the term 'swag' which means to brag or boast. The noun of 'swag' is dated to 1725 (Online Etymology Dictionary)
'Swagger' was used for a long time. It circulated in rap in the 1990s when Sadat X of Brand…… [Read More]
Carl Orff a German composer, was born in Munich, Germany on July 10, 1895. Munich had been the place where Orff grew up and where his life had been shaped. The childhood days of Orff brought him a lot of memories that he used later as inspirations for his works and compositions.
Carl Orff started to develop his talent in music at the age of 5. He received his first piano, organ, and cello lessons in 1900. At the age of 16, he had already composed almost 50 songs using the text of classical authors such as Heinrich Heine and Friedrich Hoelderlin (www.dhm.de).When he was at the age of 19, Orff served in First World War for a short period of time
Carl Orff's genius in music was nourished and developed into a master's art at the Academy for the Musical Arts, a music school in Munich where Orff studied.…… [Read More]
William Shakespeare and Robert Burns are both iconic figures in the UK. Also known as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare is often regarded as England’s national poet. Shakespeare is also considered the world’s greatest English writer and dramatist. During his time, Shakespeare authored tens of plays, over a hundred sonnets, and several narrative poems and verses (Marche, 2012). Shakespeare’s work has been translated into virtually all major languages of the world. Also, his work is performed more regularly than any other work. Robert Burns, born close to one and a half centuries after the death of Shakespeare, was also a prominent poet. Similar to Shakespeare, Burns is regarded as Scotland’s national poet (Hogg, 2008). Referred to as the Bard of Ayrshire, Burns is also recognised worldwide for his work (Cairney, 2000). As poets and playwrights, both Shakespeare and Burns have substantially influenced English literature and language as well as…… [Read More]
Hipollyta, his bride to be, is Queen of the Amazons. As a warrior, she grows into understanding love and marriage throughout the play, However, through the fact that she is Theseus's partner, as well as the fact that she has her own qualities, she also symbolizes order and stability.
3. In terms of Theseus's attitude towards marriage, Shakespeare follows this in the way he manifests himself with regards to third parties who are to get married in imposing the law of the nation of which he is king. In the first act of the play, Theseus appears as being undecided about the decision he needs to make. On one hand, there is a law that he needs to respect and, indeed, enforce. On the other hand, he talks with both Egeus and Demetrius in order to try to reach a different decision by negotiating a third solution (which is somewhat…… [Read More]
Most Elizabethans believed their self-identity was wrapped up in a cosmic paradigm of fate and destiny, and were somehow controlled by the stars and planets and had a power over the baser side of man -- tools of God, but with certain amounts of free will. Thus, a very central idea in Shakespeare is this central view that an individual's identity is set by God, the Planets, the Universe, the Gods, and Nature. But in contrast, the idea of free will for the individual -- or even a single utterance or decision, can change forever the destiny of the individual. A superb example of this is in Romeo and Juliet.
Fate and chance surround the identities of the major and minor characters in RJ almost from the opening scene. Because the audience already believed that their destiny was predetermined, they saw the characters as having very little choice in their…… [Read More]
Sean O'Faolain was an Irish writer who often used the relationship between society and individual characters to show his readers how the Irish struggled with adjusting its conservative past with a modern present. O'Faolain's stories do not leave the reader with the satisfaction that things will be better. His protagonists have all been shunned from society and experience all sorts of loss. O'Faolain shows how these characters overcome their realities through inventive ideas.
O'Faolain's Foreign Affairs, a collection of short stories, shows how the Irish, caught in a limited and culturally conservative environment, search for imaginative escape routes to a more fulfilling lifestyle. The characters in O'Foalain's book do not literally travel but instead, use their imaginative and daring sides to free themselves and think outside of the box.
In An Inside Outside Complex, ertie olger, an antique dealer, is dissatisfied with his conservative and boring life. To satisfy his…… [Read More]
My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty:
To you I am bound for life and education;
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you; you are the lord of duty;
I am hitherto your daughter: but here's my husband,
And so much duty as my mother show'd
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.
(Othello, Act 1, Scene iii, lines 179-188)
Desdemonda's character is defined early in Shakespeare's Othello. She plays a supportive role, allowing the nature of Othello's character to emerge clearly by the end of the play. Here, Desdemonda defends both herself and her husband. The passage tells the audience much about gender roles and norms in Elizabethan society, as Desdemonda speaks of her father as the "lord of duty," and refers to a…… [Read More]
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 / here 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. To see this as comedic, it must be remembered that Juliet is only twelve years old, and Romeo probably around fourteen, and although people married younger in those days it is ridiculous to assume that they could possibly have had the same emotional maturity as other of Shakespeare's heroes and heroines.
In Baz Luhrmann's 1997 film version of Romeo and Juliet, certain aspects of the storyline are also ridiculously overblown. Luhrmann does not attempt to approach comedy in the tragic moments…… [Read More]
This paradoxical and provocative poem by John Donne illustrates a number of the central characteristics of Metaphysical poetry. This paper will attempt to elucidate the paradoxical elements of the poem through a close reading of the text. The poem is essentially argumentative and displays a number of conceits or paradoxical comparisons. The poet uses words and meanings in an unconventional and often startling sense to convince his lover to make love with him.
The poem compares the image of a flea to love and physical union. The entire poem is a sustained argument to convince the protagonist's lover of the validity of this comparison. The image of the flea is used to spur or encourage the loved one into agreeing to the unification of their blood through intercourse. It is also significant to note in this regard that during the Renaissance it was believed that in the act of…… [Read More]
( Achterberg 21) The man then proceeds to chop up the rest of his shaman's body, which he then boils in a pot for three years. After three years the body is reassembled by the spirits and covered with flesh. This means that in effect the ordinary man is now, through the process of initiation and dismemberment, resurrected as a shaman who has the capability to communicate with the spiritual world and who can acquire the knowledge to help and heal numerous illnesses. As the research by Achterberg notes, he now has the ability to, "…read inside his head…" (Achterberg 22) In other words, he now has the ability to see in a mystical sense without the use of his ordinary vision. (Achterberg 22) The initiation process also refers to the view that the shaman acts and perceives in a way that is different to ordinary human beings.
The world…… [Read More]
Although "Midsummer" is a shot work, in keeping with more of the original modernistic style of poetry writing, it is no less poignant in the message it conveys.
In many ways, DH Lawrence is a visionary that offers the reader imagery and creativity that engulfs the reader into the world in which he creates with his words. As with Walcott, it was not necessary for Lawrence to achieve cadence in his writing though the use of rhyme. There is a balance that is struck that clearly reads as poetic. Lawrence's expressive language and use of interesting characters helps to tell the stories of dehumanization that only comes with man's lack of recognition for the power of nature, and moving too fast in directions unknown under the call for modernization.
"If one thinks a poem is coming on… you do make a retreat, a withdrawal into some kind of silence…… [Read More]