[personal profile] niori_1709
Oh Shakespeare…the nightmare of high school students everywhere. Reading Shakespeare creates abject fear in English classes everywhere. Not for me of course, since I’m a huge geek (and high school has long since ended), but that’s another story. It was Kaitlyn going on about ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for her own English class that made me remember reading it back when I was in tenth grade.

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was the first Shakespeare play that I ever read, and it has remained my favourite. Unlike his more famous tragedies, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is one of his comedies. Even though the definition of a comedy was a bit different back in the Elizabethan era, this play is still downright hilarious.

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is a tale of love, most of all unrequited love. The way it unfolds? It’s pretty much a soap opera. Here’s the deal: Hermia and Lysander are in love, but father is forcing her to marry Demetrius, who doesn’t love her so much as think he’s entitled to her. Then there’s Helena, Hermia’s friend, who is in love with Demetrius, who doesn’t give her the time of day.

And that’s only the human side of things. Out in the forest is fairyland, where there is another set of love related problems. Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, are fighting. Oh, and Puck, the classic trickster figure, is running around with love spells and making people fall in love with each other. When Hermia and Lysander run away into the woods, followed by Demetrius and Helena, the two worlds collide and things get even crazier. There are love spells, a man being turned into a donkey, fairy mischief, a very bad play within a play, and so much more.

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is ridiculous and hilarious. Yes, it can be hard to read. It is written entirely in poetic, theatrical form. There are words and phrases in there that haven’t been used in a very long time, and thus can go right over a reader’s head. I highly suggest reading a version that has references in the margins- those really help.

This is Shakespeare at his best. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ has his amazing writing, but unlike the work people tend to be more familiar with (‘Romeo and Juliet’ anyone?), it is light hearted, funny and best of all, comes with a nice happily ever after.
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