”A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a comedy written by Shakespeare. It’s a combination of a pastoral and comedy.
It is divided into three parts. The first one is set in the castle of Theseus and is about his problems with love. The second part is set between the commoners and is about setting the Athens artisans for a wedding play and the third one is dedicated to the Midsummer night.
Plot: the plot is very complex, three main scenes can be divided to the one in the castle, the preparation for the wedding and the magic of Midsummer night
Hippolyta and Theseus are preparing their wedding when Egeus arrives with his daughter Hermia to ask the duke to order Hermia to marry Demetrius.
Theseus did that and gave her a maximum of a month to complete the order. If she does not do it, she will go to a monastery or make peace with the fact that she will die.
Hermia cannot cope with their decision that she has to get into a loveless marriage because she is in love with Lysander. The two of them were planning to escape after they meet him the forest. Hermia said everything to her friend Helen who was in love with Demetrius and she told him everything.
Angry and disappointed Demetrius goes looking for the lovers and Helen accompanies him.
In the meantime, a group of Athens artisans is getting prepared for a play that they will do on Theseus wedding. Peter, a carpenter, directed everything. The whole play will be rehearsed in the woods and the theme will be “Pyramus and Thisbe”.
Meanwhile, Puck, Oberon’s joker speaks with Titania’s fairies, and they talk about the fight between Titania and Oberon. The fight was about Titania not giving Oberon the boy she is raising. Oberon was angry and ordered Puck to search for a flower that he will drain into Titania’s eyes when she falls asleep. After Titania wakes up, she will fall madly in love with the first man she sees.
After he saw that Demetrius would never fall in love with Helen, he also ordered the joker to do the same to him. That way Demetrius will fall in love with her.
But everything got complicated. Puck placed the drops into the eyes of Lysander. He woke up, saw Helen and fell in love. He went after her and left Hermia alone. The next scene brought some more complications, and it is about the rehearsal of the play that was a little bit distanced from the place where Titania slept. Puck is the one to blame in this situation because he was the one that interfered with the rehearsal. He managed to scare everyone when he put a donkey’s head on one of the actors called Bottom because he thought that Bottom was an awful player. Everyone ran away in fear. Titania had woken up, and the first man she saw was Bottom. She fell madly in love with him and ordered everyone to serve him.
Hermia went searching for Lysander, and she thought that angry Demetrius killed him. On the other side, Oberon is mad at Puck who has done everything wrong. He ordered him to bring Helen and put the drops of the flower into her eyes. Helen arrives, and Lysander is still following her and declaring her his love. Demetrius woke up and also fell in love with her and asked her to be his. Hermia came along and fought with Lysander. She thought that everyone was making fun of her.
A fight broke out between Lysander and Demetrius. The joker tricked them by imitating their voices and led them into the woods where they fell asleep. Then he took the cure against the magical flower and put it on Lysander’s eyes for him to regain his great love for Hermia.
Also, Oberon did the sane to Titania because he gave the boy she was raising. The joker took the donkeys head from Bottoms neck.
Hippolyta and Theseus went hunting with Egeus and found the sleeping lovers in the woods. Theseus listened to him and decided that everyone in Athena should marry the one they love even though Egeus is against that.
Bottom, who doesn’t have a donkey’s head anymore, went back to his friends to practice together for the play.
After the wedding, Theseus picked the play about Pyramus and Thisbe to be performed in front of everyone. After that everyone had left and Titania and Oberon shared their blessings through dancing and singing. At the end of the play, Puck said goodbye to everyone.
Characters: Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, Helena, Puck, Bottom
William Shakespeare Biography
Born the son of a glove maker and a rich landowner in 1564, William Shakespeare did not grow up in poverty. He attended good schools and learned all the basics a well rounded young man of means required. But, studying all the great playwrights led to the stage. He was one of eight children and the oldest surviving son, so turning to a career in the theater would not have been what was expected of a well brought up Englishmen, but, Shakespeare was a bit of a rebel.
At the age of 18, he suddenly married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. Six months later they became parents of their first daughter, Susanna. Later they had twins, Judith and Hamnet, but young Hamnet died at the age of 11. Most scholars feel their marriage might not have been very happy. In his will, written days before his death, Shakespeare only left his wife his “second best bed”. Whether his marriage was ideal, or not, his career as a playwright, director, producer and actor of plays was auspicious.
By the age of 28, in 1592, Shakespeare had already advanced enough in his career to get billing at a London theater. Only two years later, 1594, his plays were only performed by “Lord Chamberlain’s Men”, a troupe on the rise in London. Until her death in 1603 Queen Elizabeth I was his patron. She was a great fan of his work, and although she never visited his theater, he and his troupe gave private performances for her at the palace. After her death, her heir King James I became his patron, and the troupe’s name was then changed to “The King’s Men”. “Lord Chamberlain’s Men” and later, “The King’s Men” were very popular and successful. In 1599 they built the “Globe Theater” by the River Thames (which was destroyed by fire in 1613 and rebuilt in 1614) and in 1608 went on to take over the “Blackfriars Theater”. Both theaters were closed in 1642 due to the start of the English Civil War.
Although some scholars question the complete authenticity of Shakespeare’s plays, he is responsible for some of the greatest plays in history, including, but no where near limited to, “The Comedy of Errors”, “Richard III”, “The Taming of the Shrew”, “As You Like It”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “Julius Caesar” (rumored to be based on a Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, translated by Sir Thomas North in 1579).
As an actor, Shakespeare often took to the stage to perform in his plays. He is said to have played the ghost of Hamlet’s father and the part of Adam in “As You Like It.” In plays by Ben Johnson, he is also listed on the cast lists for “Every Man in His Humor” and “Sejanus His Fall,” among others.
The theater was Shakespeare’s life. He had a hand in every aspect of it, from designing the building to choosing props. Even during the years of frequent outbreaks of Bubonic Plague in London between 1603 and 1610, when the theaters were often closed, he kept writing and working. Then on the 23rd of April in 1603, purportedly after a drinking binge, the world lost one of the greatest playwrights of all time. He was only 52 years old and had signed his will only a month prior. He was survived by two married daughters and a wife. Most of his estate was left to his oldest daughter, Susanna, with the stipulation that it be given to the ‘first son of her body’. She had three children who all died without marrying, and his daughter, Judith one child who never had children, either. So, Shakespeare’s (legitimate) line ended. But, not his legacy.
To this day, the plays of Shakespeare have been and are being performed all over the world. His plays are one of the most unifying forces throughout history. Dictators, saints, scholars and dunces can almost all recite at least one line from his plays. Admirers tour his grave sight in Holy Trinity Church to read his epitaph or curse, depending on how it’s viewed.
“Good Friend, For Jesus’ sake Forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones”.
When the restoration of the church was performed in 2008, his grave was not touched.
Book reports from William Shakespeare
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- King Lear
- Much Ado About Nothing
- Romeo and Juliet
- The Merchant of Venice
- The Taming of the Shrew
- The Tempest
- The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
- Twelth Night or, What You Will