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Everyman
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at Midnight

Okay. Have it your way. The newlywed couples went to bed and promptly to sleep, then all woke up an hour later to enjoy the conjugal rewards of their weddings.

Yep. You must be right. That's it for sure. You win.



Choisya wrote:
The nightly revels have already taken place with the meal and the Mechanics play etc. Midnight was the end of reveltime and the 'witching hour' lasts only an hour, not all night. I am suggesting that bawdy Shakespeare would have let us know if there was to be any hanky-panky but there wasn't anything bawdy mentioned or suggested in those final speeches. What hanky-panky there was would be supposed to have taken place after the fairies had left, when everyone would have been safe to open their eyes and...

The bookmakers and yourself need to suspend your disbeliefs here.:smileyvery-happy:

(Are you suggesting that the fairies were casting their spells around 4 copulating couples and that Shakespeare would not have hinted at that? Fie!)




Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ther writer of my Notes only says that the fairies enter the Palace when all the humans are asleep, the other interpretation was mine. In all traditional productions I have seen of MND the lights are dimmed after Theseus' speech and the humans leave the stage. Theseus says:

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time



Yep.

And you're suggesting that all three sets of newlyweds, in an era when sex before marriage was taboo so the bridal night was quite a special night, went to bed and immediately to sleep?

In the world of a playwright as bawdy and full of sexuality as Shakespeare?

When the opening lines show Theseus panting at the bit to get Hippolyta into bed? He should want not only wait four nights, but a fifth not to consummate their solemnities? The nightly revels are to wait for another night to start reveling?

It's possible, I suppose, but ask a British bookmaker to give odds on all three couples promptly falling asleep and I bet you won't get very good odds.





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I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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cheryl_shell
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at the end.


Everyman wrote:

Choisya wrote:
According to my Notes the fairies only enter the Palace when all the humans are in bed asleep and this, IMO, makes them IN the Palace but not OF it, therefore Chery's delineation twix stability and reason and magic and madness is kept.

That sounds to me like an attempt to justify something the note writer doesn't understand but feels the need to try to justify somehow.

And it's not even clear that everybody is asleep. After all, there are three honeymoon couples here. You think they're all going to go promptly to sleep? Not in my world.

I'm not sure what the meaning is of the fairies coming into the castle at the end really is, but your note writer's argument doesn't seem to me to be a vary convincing answer.




Everyman, I'm not sure what you think Choisya's editor is arguing--that the fairies enter the castle after everyone is asleep? I assume you don't agree.

What would be your take on this, then? That the people are not asleep? If so, you make a valid point--although it's not clear how much time has passed (Shakespeare has the tendency to bend time occasionally) when the fairies come through to bless everyone. Perhaps the night's festivities (in all their manifestations) have concluded.

But whether or not the people are asleep, I still think Choisya's point is valid: that the fairies are in but not of the castle.

Besides, I don't think anyone wants to argue that the fairies never cross the line into the mortals' territory. Certainly not I. Oberon states early in the play that the fairies often frolic in the sunlight, and it's implied that they frequently interact with humans. I think they could still maintain their fairy essence, complete with its magic, even in the presence of mortals.

I'm just not clear why you think the editor is trying to "justify" something he/she "doesn't understand." What is it you think the editor doesn't understand? Perhaps you could clarify?
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cheryl_shell
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Comedy v. tragedy


friery wrote:

ziki wrote:


Lynx wrote:
Let us not forget that "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a comedy and deserves to be responded to in the comic spirit.




You know.....I can't really see the comedy in it yet. i wonder isn't it meant in the same style as 'divine comedy'? Like: look what's going on here...how absurd?

(rhymes for me with the 'mystical Puck', is he guiding us through? "I am that merry wanderer of the night.")

ziki




Someone once said to me that, in a Shakespearean tragedy, everyone dies at the end.

In a Shakespearean comedy, everyone marries at the end.




Hi, Friery,

That is a common saying, and it's pretty much true, as long as you're not too strict about what you mean by "everyone."
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cheryl_shell
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Fairy Quickies


Choisya wrote:
The nightly revels have already taken place with the meal and the Mechanics play etc. Midnight was the end of reveltime and the 'witching hour' lasts only an hour, not all night. I am suggesting that bawdy Shakespeare would have let us know if there was to be any hanky-panky but there wasn't anything bawdy mentioned or suggested in those final speeches. What hanky-panky there was would be supposed to have taken place after the fairies had left, when everyone would have been safe to open their eyes and...

The bookmakers and yourself need to suspend your disbeliefs here.:smileyvery-happy:

(Are you suggesting that the fairies were casting their spells around 4 copulating couples and that Shakespeare would not have hinted at that? Fie!)



Choisya, I think he did hint at that: "To the best bride-bed will we, / Which by us shall blessed be, / And the issue there create / Ever shall be fortunate" (5.1.420-23).

Besides, how fast do you think fairies can do their magic? I'll bet it can be done in the blink of an eye!
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Choisya
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at Midnight

RFOL. I am just better at suspending my disbelief than you are.:smileyvery-happy:




Everyman wrote:
Okay. Have it your way. The newlywed couples went to bed and promptly to sleep, then all woke up an hour later to enjoy the conjugal rewards of their weddings.

Yep. You must be right. That's it for sure. You win.



Choisya wrote:
The nightly revels have already taken place with the meal and the Mechanics play etc. Midnight was the end of reveltime and the 'witching hour' lasts only an hour, not all night. I am suggesting that bawdy Shakespeare would have let us know if there was to be any hanky-panky but there wasn't anything bawdy mentioned or suggested in those final speeches. What hanky-panky there was would be supposed to have taken place after the fairies had left, when everyone would have been safe to open their eyes and...

The bookmakers and yourself need to suspend your disbeliefs here.:smileyvery-happy:

(Are you suggesting that the fairies were casting their spells around 4 copulating couples and that Shakespeare would not have hinted at that? Fie!)




Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ther writer of my Notes only says that the fairies enter the Palace when all the humans are asleep, the other interpretation was mine. In all traditional productions I have seen of MND the lights are dimmed after Theseus' speech and the humans leave the stage. Theseus says:

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time



Yep.

And you're suggesting that all three sets of newlyweds, in an era when sex before marriage was taboo so the bridal night was quite a special night, went to bed and immediately to sleep?

In the world of a playwright as bawdy and full of sexuality as Shakespeare?

When the opening lines show Theseus panting at the bit to get Hippolyta into bed? He should want not only wait four nights, but a fifth not to consummate their solemnities? The nightly revels are to wait for another night to start reveling?

It's possible, I suppose, but ask a British bookmaker to give odds on all three couples promptly falling asleep and I bet you won't get very good odds.








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Everyman
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at the end.


cheryl_shell wrote:
But whether or not the people are asleep, I still think Choisya's point is valid: that the fairies are in but not of the castle.

Besides, I don't think anyone wants to argue that the fairies never cross the line into the mortals' territory. Certainly not I. Oberon states early in the play that the fairies often frolic in the sunlight, and it's implied that they frequently interact with humans. I think they could still maintain their fairy essence, complete with its magic, even in the presence of mortals.

I'm just not clear why you think the editor is trying to "justify" something he/she "doesn't understand." What is it you think the editor doesn't understand? Perhaps you could clarify?

Let's go back to the beginning. Where this started was with the concept that the play contains a clear duality of Court and forest; that the Court is the place of law and order, and the forest is the place where magic happen and fairies are in control.

My point was simply that the entry of the fairies into the castle at the end of the play brings this simple duality into question. Because the fairies come into the Court to do magic there, too, it's no longer a clear cut matter of Court = man's law and forest = fairies magic.

So I asked, what is the meaning of the fairies entry into the Court? Why didn't Shakespeare end the play with the nuptial couples going off to bed lights out, curtain (metaphorically for S's day) down.

Choisya offered that editor's note to try to explain this dichotomy. But I didn't find it satisfactory. It doesn't explain why Shakespeare feels the need to bring in the fairies. It doesn't explain why magic can be done both places, but apparently man's law is only good in the Court.

So why do you think the fairies show up in the Castle at the end of the play, what does S mean us to take from that, and what does it say about what was up to then a fairly clear distinction, as you noted at the start of the thread, between the Court as the seat of law and order and the forest as the seat of magic and mystery?
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Choisya
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Re: Fairy Quickies

Thanks a lot Cheryl - I had neglected that bit:smileyhappy: I love your title Fairy Quickies!! You mean that this was a 'Witching Minute or Two' instead of a Witching Hour, as it was a bridal night? Perhaps the fairies blessed them whilst they were all getting undressed in their closets.:smileyvery-happy: LOL.





cheryl_shell wrote:

Choisya wrote:
The nightly revels have already taken place with the meal and the Mechanics play etc. Midnight was the end of reveltime and the 'witching hour' lasts only an hour, not all night. I am suggesting that bawdy Shakespeare would have let us know if there was to be any hanky-panky but there wasn't anything bawdy mentioned or suggested in those final speeches. What hanky-panky there was would be supposed to have taken place after the fairies had left, when everyone would have been safe to open their eyes and...

The bookmakers and yourself need to suspend your disbeliefs here.:smileyvery-happy:

(Are you suggesting that the fairies were casting their spells around 4 copulating couples and that Shakespeare would not have hinted at that? Fie!)



Choisya, I think he did hint at that: "To the best bride-bed will we, / Which by us shall blessed be, / And the issue there create / Ever shall be fortunate" (5.1.420-23).

Besides, how fast do you think fairies can do their magic? I'll bet it can be done in the blink of an eye!


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Choisya
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at the end.

I see Shakespeare's need, as a playright, to bring in the fairies as a way to end the play's magic for good and all, to reassure the audience that they can go home peacefully, that the dream has ended. Their 'spiritual' presence in the bedchamber at the 'witching hour' does not, IMO, negate the duality because they are an 'ethereal' presence, there to bless everyone, not to interfere in their human lives as they were doing in the forest. On the other hand it could be seen as an ending of the duality and a coming together, a truce, a fitting end to the dream?




Everyman wrote:

cheryl_shell wrote:
But whether or not the people are asleep, I still think Choisya's point is valid: that the fairies are in but not of the castle.

Besides, I don't think anyone wants to argue that the fairies never cross the line into the mortals' territory. Certainly not I. Oberon states early in the play that the fairies often frolic in the sunlight, and it's implied that they frequently interact with humans. I think they could still maintain their fairy essence, complete with its magic, even in the presence of mortals.

I'm just not clear why you think the editor is trying to "justify" something he/she "doesn't understand." What is it you think the editor doesn't understand? Perhaps you could clarify?

Let's go back to the beginning. Where this started was with the concept that the play contains a clear duality of Court and forest; that the Court is the place of law and order, and the forest is the place where magic happen and fairies are in control.

My point was simply that the entry of the fairies into the castle at the end of the play brings this simple duality into question. Because the fairies come into the Court to do magic there, too, it's no longer a clear cut matter of Court = man's law and forest = fairies magic.

So I asked, what is the meaning of the fairies entry into the Court? Why didn't Shakespeare end the play with the nuptial couples going off to bed lights out, curtain (metaphorically for S's day) down.

Choisya offered that editor's note to try to explain this dichotomy. But I didn't find it satisfactory. It doesn't explain why Shakespeare feels the need to bring in the fairies. It doesn't explain why magic can be done both places, but apparently man's law is only good in the Court.

So why do you think the fairies show up in the Castle at the end of the play, what does S mean us to take from that, and what does it say about what was up to then a fairly clear distinction, as you noted at the start of the thread, between the Court as the seat of law and order and the forest as the seat of magic and mystery?


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Laurel
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at the end.

GOOD NIGHT!!



Choisya wrote:
I see Shakespeare's need, as a playright, to bring in the fairies as a way to end the play's magic for good and all, to reassure the audience that they can go home peacefully, that the dream has ended. Their 'spiritual' presence in the bedchamber at the 'witching hour' does not, IMO, negate the duality because they are an 'ethereal' presence, there to bless everyone, not to interfere in their human lives as they were doing in the forest. On the other hand it could be seen as an ending of the duality and a coming together, a truce, a fitting end to the dream?




Everyman wrote:

cheryl_shell wrote:
But whether or not the people are asleep, I still think Choisya's point is valid: that the fairies are in but not of the castle.

Besides, I don't think anyone wants to argue that the fairies never cross the line into the mortals' territory. Certainly not I. Oberon states early in the play that the fairies often frolic in the sunlight, and it's implied that they frequently interact with humans. I think they could still maintain their fairy essence, complete with its magic, even in the presence of mortals.

I'm just not clear why you think the editor is trying to "justify" something he/she "doesn't understand." What is it you think the editor doesn't understand? Perhaps you could clarify?

Let's go back to the beginning. Where this started was with the concept that the play contains a clear duality of Court and forest; that the Court is the place of law and order, and the forest is the place where magic happen and fairies are in control.

My point was simply that the entry of the fairies into the castle at the end of the play brings this simple duality into question. Because the fairies come into the Court to do magic there, too, it's no longer a clear cut matter of Court = man's law and forest = fairies magic.

So I asked, what is the meaning of the fairies entry into the Court? Why didn't Shakespeare end the play with the nuptial couples going off to bed lights out, curtain (metaphorically for S's day) down.

Choisya offered that editor's note to try to explain this dichotomy. But I didn't find it satisfactory. It doesn't explain why Shakespeare feels the need to bring in the fairies. It doesn't explain why magic can be done both places, but apparently man's law is only good in the Court.

So why do you think the fairies show up in the Castle at the end of the play, what does S mean us to take from that, and what does it say about what was up to then a fairly clear distinction, as you noted at the start of the thread, between the Court as the seat of law and order and the forest as the seat of magic and mystery?





"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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cheryl_shell
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Re: Fairy Quickies


Choisya wrote:
Thanks a lot Cheryl - I had neglected that bit:smileyhappy: I love your title Fairy Quickies!! You mean that this was a 'Witching Minute or Two' instead of a Witching Hour, as it was a bridal night? Perhaps the fairies blessed them whilst they were all getting undressed in their closets.:smileyvery-happy: LOL.








Yes, I can picture them saying, "Can't you do that bit a little faster?"

I think the fairies have come to bless the unions because it seals the deal, as it were. All the conflicts, though settled, have left the lovers feeling a little insecure, I should think. The darkness that almost descended has perhaps not gone away completely. The spectre of deformity, disease, and death, glanced at by the Athenians in their forest adventures, may make a reappearance. The fairies are there to make sure the lovers and their offspring are protected from the evils that may be lurking just outside the bedchamber.

And, of course, it also makes the audience feel protected from evils as they make their way out of the theatre!
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Everyman
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Re: Fairy Quickies



cheryl_shell wrote:
I think the fairies have come to bless the unions because it seals the deal, as it were. All the conflicts, though settled, have left the lovers feeling a little insecure, I should think. The darkness that almost descended has perhaps not gone away completely. The spectre of deformity, disease, and death, glanced at by the Athenians in their forest adventures, may make a reappearance. The fairies are there to make sure the lovers and their offspring are protected from the evils that may be lurking just outside the bedchamber.

Does it make a difference to this viewpoint that presumably the couples have no idea that the fairies are there blessing them? Though maybe they do know. Do you think they do?

If they don't know, though, the blessings don't help the Athenians resolve their unsettledness. The fairies may take away all the specters of deformity, disease, and death, but if the lovers don't know that, won't they be just as worried when they wake up?

That is, there two aspects to this. One is the worry about the ills. Two is the ills themselves. They're related but separate.

After all, if you're worried about paying your bills and somebody deposits $100,000 into your bank account but never tells you they've done it, your worries about bills don't go away even though the bills can all get paid (at least until you look at your bank statement and find out about the extra money being in your account.) In order for worries to go away, you have to know that somebody has helped them not happen.

Or are you suggesting that the fairies not only take away the ills but also take away the concerns about the ills? That would be some trick, but I guess fairies could pull it off if they wanted to.
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Choisya
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Re: Fairy Quickies

Yes, my interpretation of the ending exactly.




cheryl_shell wrote:

Choisya wrote:
Thanks a lot Cheryl - I had neglected that bit:smileyhappy: I love your title Fairy Quickies!! You mean that this was a 'Witching Minute or Two' instead of a Witching Hour, as it was a bridal night? Perhaps the fairies blessed them whilst they were all getting undressed in their closets.:smileyvery-happy: LOL.








Yes, I can picture them saying, "Can't you do that bit a little faster?"

I think the fairies have come to bless the unions because it seals the deal, as it were. All the conflicts, though settled, have left the lovers feeling a little insecure, I should think. The darkness that almost descended has perhaps not gone away completely. The spectre of deformity, disease, and death, glanced at by the Athenians in their forest adventures, may make a reappearance. The fairies are there to make sure the lovers and their offspring are protected from the evils that may be lurking just outside the bedchamber.

And, of course, it also makes the audience feel protected from evils as they make their way out of the theatre!



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Choisya
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Re: Fairy Quickies

Fairies can pull off anything Everyman - like God/gods for a believer I suppose. It doesn't matter at all that the Athenians do not know they have been blessed - their lives and their worried psyches will just be all the better for the fairy magic. Some people say they have been 'blessed' by God/gods even though there is no evidence that they have been. I guess if there are three healthy babies born in Athens in 9 months time the Athenians might feel blessed by the 'powers that be' and that might include the fairies they dreamed of on Midsummer night. We will never know.




Everyman wrote:


cheryl_shell wrote:
I think the fairies have come to bless the unions because it seals the deal, as it were. All the conflicts, though settled, have left the lovers feeling a little insecure, I should think. The darkness that almost descended has perhaps not gone away completely. The spectre of deformity, disease, and death, glanced at by the Athenians in their forest adventures, may make a reappearance. The fairies are there to make sure the lovers and their offspring are protected from the evils that may be lurking just outside the bedchamber.

Does it make a difference to this viewpoint that presumably the couples have no idea that the fairies are there blessing them? Though maybe they do know. Do you think they do?

If they don't know, though, the blessings don't help the Athenians resolve their unsettledness. The fairies may take away all the specters of deformity, disease, and death, but if the lovers don't know that, won't they be just as worried when they wake up?

That is, there two aspects to this. One is the worry about the ills. Two is the ills themselves. They're related but separate.

After all, if you're worried about paying your bills and somebody deposits $100,000 into your bank account but never tells you they've done it, your worries about bills don't go away even though the bills can all get paid (at least until you look at your bank statement and find out about the extra money being in your account.) In order for worries to go away, you have to know that somebody has helped them not happen.

Or are you suggesting that the fairies not only take away the ills but also take away the concerns about the ills? That would be some trick, but I guess fairies could pull it off if they wanted to.


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Re: (Possible Spoiler) A psychological interpretation of the themes.

Thanks Everyman, bookmarked!

ziki :-)
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the comedy's discovered

MND is a lot about love, isn't it and when we take a step back than the foolishness of infatuation can't be denied. Viewed from that position one could easily call it a comedy.
I'll keep asking mine what I call '101 questions'. They generate great replies, thank you all.

ziki
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Re: Fairy Quickies



cheryl_shell wrote:Besides, how fast do you think fairies can do their magic? I'll bet it can be done in the blink of an eye!




Positive. They cause an immediate effect. That's magic.

ziki
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dreams and reality



Choisya wrote:
Are they not all going into the forest to 'escape' though? And both forest and fairyland are good places to escape 'to seek new friends and stranger companies' (Act I:i). It also takes the audience out of the present and into an unknown, surreal, contrasting world. Everything is juxtaposed/contrasted in MND and the first contrast (motif) is that all these people start out to go to one place but for very different reasons.




The dream land is always surreal and the point in case you have no choice. You just go there each night: than on another level (spiritual) some would argue that the life as we know it (a sit appears to us) is also but a dream and that there is a higher reality, the Truth. Suppose the same law would govern that=> then you have no choice but be born into duality and manifestation (form) so that you can discover you true core, spirit, which is love. In MND is ends happily. No war but three wedings.

I am not sure if SHKSP ever gets busy with investigating different kinds of love and how.Ask me in a couple of years when we are done with all his works.:smileyvery-happy:

ziki
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Re: Act I: The Court : Escape into the surreal



Everyman wrote: But they are not specifically escaping to the forest; it would make no difference to them whether their destination were the seashore, a nearby barn, a temple, or some other destination as long as it was outside Athens.




I beg to disagree. The forest was often thought to be a magical place where trolls lived together will all kind of small creatures. In a fairy tale a forest is often used as a symbol of a 'dangerous' place that the hero needs to cross on his mission. Even in Macbeth it all starts in the fog, in a forest. In the wood there is no protection, you're out there with the nature. It's unprotected, while the court like a barn is a structured, man-built shelter. There was an interesting comment on Moby Dick board (by chad) that a civilization is a skin of the humans. And so the court was such a place.

I never heard a fairy tale about a prince who went to a beach and did nothing. Forest is a potent place and to be in a barn...well, what shall I say? It would be barren, sort of.

ziki
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The Play's the thing...layers



Choisya wrote: MND is a play and the characters are doing the bidding of the playwright for the benefit of an audience. We are not reading a story here, we are reading a play. You may wish to interpret it as only a story and that is OK, but I do not. For me 'The Play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king' - the king for me, in this instance, being Shakespeare. I wish to understand the entirety of the play, not just the story.




So IOW you are saying that there are levels of meaning in it and that it is not only about the plot line, right?

For me it is important to remember this. What I read is just a dialog and there is no narrative (contrary to a book).
Reading a film script is different from seeing the movie when all components are combined in a desired way. The difference in a play is even bigger because the play happens in a particular moment and isn't (wasn't) recorded. Like music it occurs in the "Now" and each moment is different (caused in this case by the interaction with the public).

But also Heraclitus said: 'you never step twice into the same river', you can't repeat life, each moment is unique.

That might be another layer of meaning, and these layers are peeled from our eyes so that we can see(= become conscious)** or added (like the juice of the herbs) so that we see somethign that is not really there (appearances).

** I see= I understand, I know now and if oyu play with words: it says "know Now". Know each moment.

Very clever.

ziki
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Re: Act I: The Court



Carmenere_lady wrote:


LizzieAnn wrote:
br>We see several that there are several conflicts among the charactres in the first scene at Theseus' palace:

    • Between Egeus and his daughter Hermia

    • Between Hermia and Demetrius

    • Between Egeus and Lysander

    • Between Lysander and Demetrius

    • Between Helena and Demetrius

    • Between Helena and both Hermia & Lysander


There are also conflicts at Quince's house in scene 2:

    • Between Quince and Flute - who does not want to play a female

    • Between Quince and Bottom - who wants to play all the parts


Quince wants to move the rehearsal to the woods to avoid crowds gathering at their rehearsal. Then people would learn the content of the play (and it would no longer be a great surprise) as well as bothering the rehearsal (perhaps by giving advice and critiques).





I also wanted to add to your fine list, Lizzie by suggesting the conflict between Theseus and Hippolyta. In 1.1 we learn that Theseus won Hippolyta by force. T."Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries"




yep, no conflict, no play; It's good to remember that whenever you reach some challenging configuration IRL.

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