Today I would like to focus on the Shakespeare comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As the winter is continuing to assault us I find myself itching for Spring and Summer, which got me thinking of one of my favorite plays! The story of this play is well known through the western world. It is a tale of star crossed lovers, falling in love with the wrong partners due to the mischievous faerie Puck!
Puck caused much trouble for the humans in this tale because he was trying to do the bidding of his Faerie King Oberon. He did succeed in distracting the Faerie Queen Titania at Oberon’s bequest! That leads to the comical farce of Titania falling in love with Bottom, the weaver, who had been cursed to have a donkey’s head!
This play features one of my favorite quotes, as I always thought it suited me. Helena said of Hermia “Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school. And though she be but little, she is fierce.” As a short woman I take pride in this particular quote! I love this tale because it is based in magic and love and it takes place in an enchanted forest! For me living in a faerie forest would be a dream come true!
I find such joy in reading and watching this play, and there are several great cinematic adaptations to choose from! The thought of having the drama and confusion of love be solved by a little magic and a little honesty is so beautiful. It also reminds me of other Shakespeare plays I love, like Taming of the Shrew (as it also had a lot of relationship related hijinks), and The Tempest (which has the origin of my name, Maranda, which Shakespeare invented and spelled Miranda). The Tempest also focused on magic much like this play.
Watching the faeries and humans deal with the chaos that ensues within the context of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is endlessly entertaining! As I have discussed in many posts I have an incredible adoration of Faerie Queens, so this story makes me happy for it’s featuring Titania!
The beauty of nature is a major player in this play, especially given that the bulk of the play is set in an Athenian Forest on the Summer Solstice! The whole of the play seems to be incredibly playful and fun loving. The music that was composed by Mendelssohn is very whimsical and fitting for the story. That same music was utilized in Max Reinhardt’s 1935 film version. This black and white film was beautifully brought to life, and Titania’s costume is especially gorgeous!
I hope this post has encouraged you to get lost in the Shakespearean fantasy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream while we await the weather to break!
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)