Presentation on theme: "A Midsummer Nights Dream SHAKESPEARE: Script, Stage, Screen Bevington, Welsh and Greenwald Chapter Seven."— Presentation transcript:
A Midsummer Nights Dream SHAKESPEARE: Script, Stage, Screen Bevington, Welsh and Greenwald Chapter Seven
1594-1595 Shakespeare writes Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Nights Dream Shakespeare writes Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Nights Dream Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy about love in a domestic setting Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy about love in a domestic setting The Dream frames the theme with mystery and the supernatural The Dream frames the theme with mystery and the supernatural There is a happy ending that celebrates many weddings. This is in stark contrast to the closing moments of Romeo and Juliet. There is a happy ending that celebrates many weddings. This is in stark contrast to the closing moments of Romeo and Juliet.
PLOTS The courtship and marriage of the NOBLE LOVERS (Theseus and Hippolyta)
The tribulations of the YOUNG LOVERS (Hermia and Lysander; Helena and Demetrius)
The custody battle of the FAIRY REGENTS (Oberon and Titania over a child from India)
The hilarious attempts of THE WORKINGMEN to present a play about Pyramus and Thisbe at the Dukes wedding.
SETTING Play moves from apparently civilized world of the court to the natural world of the Athens Wood
CHARACTERS Four lovers are stock amorati of Italian comedy Four lovers are stock amorati of Italian comedy Egeus is grumpy old man of Roman comedy (Senex) Egeus is grumpy old man of Roman comedy (Senex) Theseus-Hippolyta are from mythology Theseus-Hippolyta are from mythology Oberon-Titania-Puck from fairy world Oberon-Titania-Puck from fairy world Bottom, the weaver, an amalgam of stock characters such as the braggart or the ancient fool Bottom, the weaver, an amalgam of stock characters such as the braggart or the ancient fool
SOURCES AND INSPIRATIONS The Elizabethan and Spirit World...Many English believed in fairies The Elizabethan and Spirit World...Many English believed in fairies In their tales, fairies were source of practical jokes In their tales, fairies were source of practical jokes A Courtly wedding...the play was likely written for a royal wedding attended by the queen at Whitehall in 1595 A Courtly wedding...the play was likely written for a royal wedding attended by the queen at Whitehall in 1595
Literary Sources Chaucers Knights Tale Chaucers Knights Tale Theseus-Hippolyta from Plutarchs Lives Theseus-Hippolyta from Plutarchs Lives Oberon is a figure from Germany (Teutonic myth) Oberon is a figure from Germany (Teutonic myth) Titania is Spensers Faerie Queen Titania is Spensers Faerie Queen There are elements from Ovid (Pyramus and Thisby) There are elements from Ovid (Pyramus and Thisby)
The New Testament Bottom bastardizes a verse from 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (King James Bible, Cambridge Edition) (King James Bible, Cambridge Edition) The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, mans hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. (4.1.209-212)
LANGUAGE - Use of Singsong Rhyme (Act TWO, Scene 1) FAIRY Over hill, over dale, Thorough bush, thorough brier, Over park, over pale, Thorough flood, thorough fire, I do wander everywhere, Swifter than the moon's sphere; And I serve the fairy queen, To dew her orbs upon the green. The cowslips tall her pensioners be: In their gold coats spots you see; Those be rubies, fairy favours, In those freckles live their savours: I must go seek some dewdrops here And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone: Our queen and all our elves come here anon. PUCK The king doth keep his revels here to-night: Take heed the queen come not within his sight; For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Because that she as her attendant hath A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king; She never had so sweet a changeling; And jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild; But she perforce withholds the loved boy, Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy: And now they never meet in grove or green, By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen, But, they do square, that all their elves for fear Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there. The fairies, especially Puck, speak in exaggerated verse to denote that they are not human
LANGUAGE MUSIC AND DANCE The play-within-a-play uses rhymed doggerel Pyramus Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams; I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright; For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams, I trust to take of truest Thisby sight. But stay, O spite! But mark, poor knight, What dreadful dole is here! Eyes, do you see? How can it be? O dainty duck! O dear! (V.1, 267-276)
The Four Lovers often speak in rhymed couplets HERMIA What's this to my Lysander? where is he? Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me? DEMETRIUS I had rather give his carcass to my hounds. HERMIA Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds (ACT THREE, SCENE TWO) (ACT THREE, SCENE TWO)
LANGUAGE, MUSIC AND DANCE The prose is typial of most of Shakespeares plays, the rude mechanicals employ the language of everyday speech… The prose is typial of most of Shakespeares plays, the rude mechanicals employ the language of everyday speech… QUINCE Is all our company here? BOTTOM You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip. QUINCE Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and the duchess, on his wedding-day at night. (Act One, Scene 2)
LANGUAGE MUSIC AND DANCE The royals, the courtiers, Theseus and Hippolyta speak in blank verse THESEUS Now, Fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace. Four happy days bring in Another moon: but, o methinks, how slow This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires, Like to a stepdame or a dowager Long withering out a young mans revenue (I,1, 1-6)
LANGUAGE MUSIC AND DANCE OBERON Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania. TITANIA What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence: I have forsworn his bed and company. OBERON Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord? TITANIA Then I must be thy lady: but I know When thou hast stolen away from fairy land, (Act Two, Scene One, 60-65)
LANGUAGE MUSIC AND DANCE Music, song and dance permeate the play Felix Mendelssohn wrote his famous overture in 1826. overture He completed the incidental music in 1842 for a production of the play. THE WEDDING MARCH is used in weddings to this day. THE WEDDING MARCHTHE WEDDING MARCH
THEMES AND ISSUES Lunatics, lovers and poets (lots of moon imagery) Lunatics, lovers and poets (lots of moon imagery) Imagination and mind games--a celebration of the imagination, weaving together three distinct groups of people Imagination and mind games--a celebration of the imagination, weaving together three distinct groups of people
STAGING CHALLENGES THE look of the Fairies THE look of the Fairies THE SETTINGS THE SETTINGS The transformation of Bottom The transformation of Bottom The Play-within-the-play The Play-within-the-play
Elizabethan era The public stage...records show it was staged many times...The posts of the Globe provided hiding places... Titanias bower could be staged in the discovery space...Quinces actors rehearsed DS...Musicians played in the gallery...Fairies were likely played by young boys...Scene changes were suggested by dialogue
17th -19th centuries Samuel Pepys wrote about THE DREAM in his diary and described the adaptations as insipid and ridiculous. In 1692, Henry Purcell wrote music for an operatic version called The Fairy Queen Frederick Reynolds (1764-1841) adapted many of the comedies for extravagant spectacles at Covent Garden from 1816-1828
David Garrick and George Colman, respected actor- managers, produced memorable productions in the late 18th century, deleting the final scene.
The Germans In 1826, Mendelssohn (at age 17) composed an overture for a German production...He completed a score including overture and incidental music in 1843 In 1826, Mendelssohn (at age 17) composed an overture for a German production...He completed a score including overture and incidental music in 1843 Ludwig Tieck, a scholar turned theatre artist, used Mendelssohns score in a famour 1843 production which was so popular with German audiences that it was repeated 40 times its first season Ludwig Tieck, a scholar turned theatre artist, used Mendelssohns score in a famour 1843 production which was so popular with German audiences that it was repeated 40 times its first season
From 1840 to World War II Madame Vestris and Charles Matthews took over Covent Garden in 1839. They restored the text and began the Victorian vogue of having women play the roles of Oberon and Puck
Princess Theatre - 1855 Charles Kean produced a memorable production at the Princess Theatre in 1855 in response to a memorable production by Samuel Phelps at Sadlers Wells
New York - 1854 Two simultaneous productions were staged in NYC in 1854 that featured spectacle
1914 In 1914, Harley Granville-Barker staged a simplified production and abandoned the practice of cross- gender casting for Oberon and Puck
The 20 th Century George Devine staged a futuristic sci-fi version at Stratford-on-Avon in 1954
Peter Hall - 1961 In 1961, Peter Hall set the play in a Tudor garden as it might have been staged for a wedding. It was the basis for his film in 1968. The picture shows the company for the RSC assembled for its first season in 1961.
Peter Brook Peter Brooks Dream became the most influential production of Shakespeare in the 20th century...it remained in the RSC rep for 5 years. Peter Brooks Dream became the most influential production of Shakespeare in the 20th century...it remained in the RSC rep for 5 years.
Peter Brook The production was minimal...Bottom-Titania was lusty...it has been described as equal parts street carnival, Dionysian rite and avant-garde theatre...He double-cast the roles of Theseus-Oberon; Hippolyta-Titania; and Philistrate-Puck
The play is film friendly Among the most filmed of Shakespeares works... several animated films and a 1959 puppet version from Czechoslovakia First live action film appeared in 1908 (above) 1925, the German director Hans Neumann produced a 58 minute version
1935 Film by Max Reinhart featuring a Hollywood cast. It holds the distinction of being the first full- length commercially successful production of the play on film.
1968 Peter Hall directed a film version of his 1961 RSCproduction featuring a young (and naked) Judi Dench as Titania.
Judi Dench In a celebrated production in Londons Regent Park in the summer of 2010, Judi Dench played both Titania and Elizabeth I. The 1968 Peter Hall film
1981 Director Elijah Moshinsky for BBC-TV series produced by Jonathan Miller was darker than some and is a mannered reconstruction of famous paintings by European masters It featured RSC actors. Helen Mirren appeared as Titania, Nigel Davenport was featured as Bottom. Robert Lindsay played Lysander.
1988 American director James Lapine recorded a production of the play in New Yorks Central Park. The cast included William Hurt and Jeffrey DeMunn (Bottom) American director James Lapine recorded a production of the play in New Yorks Central Park. The cast included William Hurt and Jeffrey DeMunn (Bottom)
1996 Director Adrian Noble, Guild Films with RSC featuring Alex Jennings, Lindsay Duncan and Desmond Barrit. It was inspired by the Brook version
1999 Director Michael Hoffman set the play in Tuscany in the late 19th century and featured bicycles and a phonograph. The cast was largely American with Kevin Kline as Bottom, Calista Flockhart as Helena, Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania and Stanley Tucci as Puck.
Spin-offs and adaptations The 1950 Broadway Musical BABES IN ARMS The 1950 Broadway Musical BABES IN ARMS A 1960 Benjamin Britten Opera A 1966 Ballet by George Balanchine
1982 Woody Allen film A Midsummer Nights Sex Comedy
1989 Featured sub-plot in Robin Williams film vehicle DEAD POETS SOCIETY. Robert Sean Leonard (below) plays a student at a private school who goes against his fathers wishes to play PUCK in a school production of the play.
A DVD featuring the Beatles doing the play-within-the-play as part of Londons celebration of Shakespeares 400th birthday
Lindsay Kemp Dance A recent dance version of the play, directed by Celestino Coronado has been filmed by the Lindsay Kemp Company.
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