Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

As the final part of Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge, I decided to read Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's been a long time since I've read Shakespeare. College, maybe. Although this play is rather short, it took some time, that's for sure. But such a fun little play!!

Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is preparing to marry Hippolyta. Egeus, arrives in town for the wedding with his daughter Hermia. Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius, who is in love with her. But Hermia wants to marry Lysander. They make plans to steal away into the night and run off and marry. They tell Hermia's friend, Helena, who is love with Demetrius. Hoping to get back in Demetrius' good graces, Helena tells him of Hermia's plan.

As the couple head off into the Woods, we come across a group of fairies. Oberon, the fairy king, and Titania, his queen are arguing about an Indian prince that Oberon wants to make a knight. Titania refuses. So Oberon sends out his servant, Puck, to find a magical flower. If the flower's juice is spread over a sleeping person's eyes, that person will immediately fall in love with the first person they see when they wake up. Oberon wants to use the flower on Titania, but he then he overhears Demetrius talking to Helena. Demetrius is rather cruel to the lovestruck Helena and Oberon decides to use the flower on Demetrius. But Puck spreads the juice on Lysander's eyes by mistake, and the first person he sees is Helena. So Lysander abandons Hermia.....and everything just goes awry from there!

Puck is such a fun sprite!! He is also known as Robin Goodfellow, and he's rather mischievous, but he does make up for it by trying to do the right thing. I haven't read a lot of Shakespeare's comedies. Mostly just the dramas. But this was fun, once you can get past the Old English writing and understand what is going on! It's enchanted, with fairies and sprites and is the perfect way to end the Once Upon a Time II Challenge. Look for my Challenge wrap-up tomorrow!

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Ana S. said...

A perfect way to end the challenge indeed!

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Even though I've read the play (probably more than once) and have seen a version of it in an open-air theatre in London, everytime I think of this I think of Get Over It the teen film retelling of it..

Debi said...

We just finished reading this, too. I had no idea how funny it was...I couldn't believe I was laughing out loud at Shakespeare! Glad you enjoyed it, too!

Anonymous said...

I loved your review!
I'm just about to reread this myself as part of A Midsummer Night's Challenge.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I just finished it last night, so I linked to your review. Again, congrats on finishing the challenge.

Carl V. Anderson said...

It is really fun, isn't it? I don't read Shakespeare nearly as often as I watch, and re-watch, films based on his work, but when I do I always enjoy the language and am overwhelmed by the talent. On a local NPR program today they were discussing all the cliches and common sayings that we have in our vocab today that are all attributed to Shakespeare...I was amazed.