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alfprof212
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Re: (Possible Spoiler) A psychological interpretation of the themes.

I don't think I finished my thought from above, so I'll try again. The comedy comes from the realistic quality of the fantasy. Does that make sense? How each of us can identify with and laugh at the strange (though maybe not magical most of the time) occurances in our lives.
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comedy

No it's not boring, alf.....I didn't get that far with my reading of the play, yet...

----------------
Dictionary:

mischievous
mis·chie·vous Pronunciation (msch-vs)
adj.
1. Causing mischief.
2. Playful in a naughty or teasing way.
3. Troublesome; irritating: a mischievous prank.
4. Causing harm, injury, or damage: mischievous rumors and falsehoods.
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Choisya
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Re: simple love

[ Edited ]
Is love ever simple, period? Does it even exist or is it all a society constructed myth?:smileyvery-happy:




ziki wrote:


cheryl_shell wrote: And it seems as though the forest is as strewn with obstacles in the path of true love as is the court!




Was love ever simple in any of Shakespeare's plays?

ziki
not trying to be ironic

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-23-200707:31 AM

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Choisya
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Re: many lit sources

True ziki. I think it is important to remember that Elizabethan audiences were brought up on these stories and myths. Even if they were illiterate they were oft told tales. I don't know about American legends but in the UK the stories of Ancient Greece and Rome are part of our childhood inheritance. Only yesterday my 8 year old grandson went with his school to see some Roman ruins in St Albans and came back full of tales of those times, as well as a replica Roman coin:smileyhappy: I still have a set of Encyclopaedias bought for me when I was a child and the most worn pages are those dealing with the 'Myths of Ancient Greece and Rome'.




ziki wrote:


samantilles wrote: I expect the watchers of the play in Shakespeare's time would have been much more familiar with the mythologies alluded to (Theseus/Hippolyta and now Pyramus/Thisbe) then perhaps we in the modern age are.




My intro says that SHKSP had an ability to bring together in a single work plots and characters derived from diverse literary sources.

It refers to Chaucer (Thes.& Hip.).
T.North (translation of Plutarch)
Pyr. and Thisb. from Ovid's Metamorphosis
Apuleius and other lit sources that SHLSP mixes together in his own way.

ziki


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

I think overall it is a comedy because it turns many aspects of life upside down before it turns them right way up again:smileyvery-happy:



alfprof212 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





To me, the comedy comes from the absurdity of the character Bottom and the mischeivousness (is that even a word? and did I spell it wrong? doesn't matter, I guess) of Puck. It's also quite funny to me that we can see real people in these characters. Maybe the situations are fantastic, but these characters (some more than others) are quite three-dimensional. I always chuckle and roll my eyes when Bottom goes of on an "I-can-play-that-part-too" tangent...I tend to identify with Titania and her relationship with Oberon, feeling her power and his frustration...I love to hate whiny Helena, but also feel her pain from her unrequited "love"... I could go on, but I won't bore you.

Any other thoughts?


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



alfprof212 wrote:
I don't think I finished my thought from above, so I'll try again. The comedy comes from the realistic quality of the fantasy. Does that make sense? How each of us can identify with and laugh at the strange (though maybe not magical most of the time) occurrences in our lives.





So true, Alfprof. I think Skspr is looking at his audience MAGNIFIED. Our idiosyncrasies are magnified, our actions etc. It's when we (his audience) can see ourselves and the people we know going about our daily lives , the things we think we do are normal - really are funny, silly that's where (IMO) the comedy lies, when we can laugh at ourselves.
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Re: many lit sources

Yes, the Greek mythology (and the Roman version of it) was a base of education and as a playwrite SHSP would work with the contents of the mind as in late 16th century.

ziki
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Choisya
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Re: many lit sources

Precisely.

Forgive me for asking, and I am not criticising your spelling, but do American dictionaries give 'playwrite' for playwright? I know how strange you all are and how separated we are by a common language!:smileyvery-happy:




ziki wrote:
Yes, the Greek mythology (and the Roman version of it) was a base of education and as a playwrite SHSP would work with the contents of the mind as in late 16th century.

ziki


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stratford
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Re: many lit sources

My American dictionary does not contain "playwrite." It only contains "playwright." Ziki was merely using shorthand again as "playwrite" is one letter shorter than "playwright." As far as all of us being strange, that may well be true, but you should at least respect our different degrees of strangeness, as some among us are stranger than others.




Choisya wrote:
Precisely.

Forgive me for asking, and I am not criticising your spelling, but do American dictionaries give 'playwrite' for playwright? I know how strange you all are and how separated we are by a common language!:smileyvery-happy:




ziki wrote:
Yes, the Greek mythology (and the Roman version of it) was a base of education and as a playwrite SHSP would work with the contents of the mind as in late 16th century.

ziki





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spelling off topic



stratford wrote:
My American dictionary does not contain "playwrite." It only contains "playwright." Ziki was merely using shorthand again as "playwrite" is one letter shorter than "playwright." As far as all of us being strange, that may well be true, but you should at least respect our different degrees of strangeness, as some among us are stranger than others.






stratford, you roguish plume-plucked flap-dragon! You are totally right, sorry rite or better say left.

Choisya there is night sky and nitesky...

I think American dictionaries are in correct working order but I am not. Neither is the BN spellchecker (not onmy computer). I run pretty funky posts through it and it never objected. You easily get an impression of being a spelling&grammar genius.

Another 'facto' is that talking on net when web was young was fun and quick, simulating the talk. I was hopin' it would grow into a whole new style but the way this is now going suggests more and more formal style.....and perhaps well is so because bed, I mean bad spelling is offensive (but it wasn't to us 8 sorry eight or eit years ago or so...

I was just complaining about spelling in a post while misspelling it badly on purpose but I removed that...one couldn't tell if it was a joke or bad judgement.

[And many timeI liek to bend the alnguage (that is a word from "bady", a typo language that has words likr thsi, woamn, palce etc. (this, woman, place....) ofteh substituting keys jus aside or leab´vign out soem letters.]

So life is safe:
The playwright wrote about the beautiful night
when all was all right
Oberon was on Mars, Titania on Venus
and there were never any conflicts
nor troubles to keep us constantly busy.

:-) I'll try to shape up a little but
I wouldn't like to promise 2 much

ziki
thee tickle-brained mumble-news
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Choisya
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Re: spelling off topic

Believe me, I was not complaining about the spelling, I was just interested to see what else Americans might have done with my Olde Englishe:smileyvery-happy: I like 'Ziki was merely using shorthand again as 'playwrite' is one letter shorter than 'playwright'. LOL.




ziki wrote:


stratford wrote:
My American dictionary does not contain "playwrite." It only contains "playwright." Ziki was merely using shorthand again as "playwrite" is one letter shorter than "playwright." As far as all of us being strange, that may well be true, but you should at least respect our different degrees of strangeness, as some among us are stranger than others.






stratford, you roguish plume-plucked flap-dragon! You are totally right, sorry rite or better say left.

Choisya there is night sky and nitesky...

I think American dictionaries are in correct working order but I am not. Neither is the BN spellchecker (not onmy computer). I run pretty funky posts through it and it never objected. You easily get an impression of being a spelling&grammar genius.

Another 'facto' is that talking on net when web was young was fun and quick, simulating the talk. I was hopin' it would grow into a whole new style but the way this is now going suggests more and more formal style.....and perhaps well is so because bed, I mean bad spelling is offensive (but it wasn't to us 8 sorry eight or eit years ago or so...

I was just complaining about spelling in a post while misspelling it badly on purpose but I removed that...one couldn't tell if it was a joke or bad judgement.

[And many timeI liek to bend the alnguage (that is a word from "bady", a typo language that has words likr thsi, woamn, palce etc. (this, woman, place....) ofteh substituting keys jus aside or leab´vign out soem letters.]

So life is safe:
The playwright wrote about the beautiful night
when all was all right
Oberon was on Mars, Titania on Venus
and there were never any conflicts
nor troubles to keep us constantly busy.

:-) I'll try to shape up a little but
I wouldn't like to promise 2 much

ziki
thee tickle-brained mumble-news



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interaction



Biziwier wrote: I was told the addition of the line about" American Indians" demonstrates the dynamic capability of the performance itself to take on inheritant meanings of "magic" in order to invoke audience (court) levity and humour.




Hi, welcome to the forum here.

I am not sure I understand this part (above).
But basically you were saying that the interaction rests on the momentary exchange and the 'flow' of the humor in the inter-play between the audience and actors?

ziki
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stratford
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Re: spelling off topic



ziki wrote:


stratford wrote:
My American dictionary does not contain "playwrite." It only contains "playwright." Ziki was merely using shorthand again as "playwrite" is one letter shorter than "playwright." As far as all of us being strange, that may well be true, but you should at least respect our different degrees of strangeness, as some among us are stranger than others.






stratford, you roguish plume-plucked flap-dragon! You are totally right, sorry rite or better say left.

I think American dictionaries are in correct working order but I am not.

:-) I'll try to shape up a little but
I wouldn't like to promise 2 much

ziki
thee tickle-brained mumble-news





Ziki, I must say this is the finest Elizabethan compliment I have ever been paid. On the other hand, come to think of it, it is the only Elizabethan compliment I have ever been paid.

Thee roguish plume-plucked flap-dragon aka stratford
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Everyman
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at the end.


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



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?


You're right, comedy in S's day didn't mean what it means today. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary theory has 10 full pages on comedy, tracking the concepts of comedy through history. I won't even try to summarize them here, but Dante, for example, "derives the word comedy from comos, a village, and oda, a song, thus comedy is a sort of rustic song;... a form of poetical narrative that is different from any other kind."

In the Middle Ages a comedy was a poem with a sad start and a happy ending.

By Shakespeare's day the term was applied in several different usages, but "funny" wasn't the critical concept; instead, generally romance and the overcoming of obstacles was.

Comedic fiction in the 18th and 19th century generally meant books of lighter entertainment which ended in marriages; Austen is clearly in this vein, but even Jane Eyre can be considered in the genre of comedic fiction.

Thus, while there is a lot of humor in Shakespeare (not just in his comedies, but also in some of his tragedies, the overall idea of comedy was not laughter but marriage.
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friery
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Re: (Possible Spoiler) A psychological interpretation of the themes.


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



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.




From the “General Introduction” to the “Signet Classic.” The introduction is by Sylvan Barnet, and he is the general editor as well:

If we look at Shakespearean comedy as a whole (and overlook a good deal) we see that generally speaking it is a comedy of young lovers who encounter difficulties but who are ultimately united; the plays follow the Renaissance formula for comedy, according to which, in the words of Shakespeare’s fellow playwright Thomas Heywood, “comedies begin in trouble and end in peace.” Thus, in the first act of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Egeus appears: Full of vexation come I, with complaint/Against my child, my daughter Hermia. (I.i.22-23) Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, but she is in love with Lysander, and so Egeus calls upon the law, which holds that she must follow her father’s will or suffer either death or life in a cloister. The play ends with Hermia marrying her beloved Lysander, Demetrius marrying a girl who dotes upon him, and a few other happy bits. In the words of Puck, who quotes “the country proverb”: Jack shall have Jill;/ Nought shall go ill;/The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well. (III.ii.461-63) (p. 31; “Shakespeare’s Comedies”)

A Renaissance dictionary defines tragedy as “a lofty kind of poetry and representing personages of great state and matter of much trouble, a great broil or stir: it beginneth prosperously, it endeth unfortunately or doubtfully, contrary to a comedy.” (A comedy “beginneth sorrowfully, and endeth merrily, contrary to a tragedy.”) Broadly speaking, Shakespeare’s tragedies follow this pattern, except for “Hamlet,” where the hero is not “prosperous” at the beginning. For instance, at the start of the play Othello is newly married to Desdemona; Lear is almost a demigod giving away kingdoms; Macbeth has conquered on the battlefield and been elevated in rank. Moreover, all of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes, with the possible exception of Romeo and Juliet, are “personages of great state,” but even Romeo and Juliet are the children of important families. And each of these people “endeth unfortunately.”

The idea that tragedy involves a fall from a height was commonplace in the Middle Ages, though at that time “tragedy” denoted a story rather than a play....The blame for adversity is placed on Fortune, and though this goddess is sometimes conceived of as the executor of God’s will, she is commonly considered capricious, turning her wheel to elevate some men and to cast down others who are aloft. (p. 53; “Shakespeare’s Tragedies”)
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Re: Act I: (Spoiler) The Court at Midnight

[ Edited ]
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

In fairy lore twelve midnight is the 'witching hour' when all good people should be asleep lest the fairies put magic dust in their eyes - lest they turn back into pumpkins or frogs, or see the toys come alive on the nursery floor:smileyhappy: That is why the writer of my Notes assumes that Shakespeare intended us to think that once the humans had gone to bed and midnight struck, they were asleep. This may be unrealistic with honeymooners but it is in line with the 'magic' theme of the play, so admissible. I don't think S. meant us to think that the lovers are up to any hanky-panky!:smileyhappy:

After the lights are dimmed and midnight has struck, the fairies come tripping onto the stage to give their blessing, which is the purpose of their visit - to put everything right at the end of a Midsummer Night's Dream:

OBERON to the fairies:
Through the house give glimmering light
By the dead and drowsy fire...

TITANIA
First rehearse your song by rote.
To each word a warbling note:
Hand in hand with fairy grace
Will we sing and bless this place [My italics.]

Titania goes on to bless the 'bride bed' and 'couples three' and their 'issue'. Puck makes his final speech reassuring the audience and sending them away happy and not worried by what 'magic' had occurred in the forest:

Give me your hands if we be friends
And Robin shall restore amends.

Your interpretation and/or your Notes may well be different to mine and I would be interested to know those differences. And any interpretations from anyone else too.




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.

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-27-200704:53 PM

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



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

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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