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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Assignment 4 - A Midsummer Night's Dream In the early 1590's, William Shakespeare wrote a play. This play was about the power of the mind and the importance of love. It was called 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. The theme of the play is based around the difference between illusion and reality. This is shown through love and the fact that true love never did run smooth. The play also emphasis how love can provoke hate and envy and cause people to do irrational things. In the play, order and disorder shows the need for power. The play is set around dreaming. Themes and ideas of dreaming constantly reoccur throughout the play. The word dream or dreaming is in the title, one of the first speeches and the last speech. The whole play is also about sleeping. In many cases, sleeping and waking up to find that you love someone different. Dreamy words regularly appear throughout the play. The play is a romantic comedy. Many strange, surreal situations take place during the play. One example is of fairies squeezing love potion onto lovers' eyes. These times of surreal goings on cause the audience's power of imagination to click into gear. This is because in Elizabethan times, there was little stage scenery and no special effects, which we all take for granted today. The audience were expected to willingly suspend their disbelief in imagining up scenery, almost like they were 'dreaming' it. Because Shakespeare thought imagination so powerful, in this play, reality and illusion became indistinguishable. To a Shakespearean audience, this was proved through theories of witchcraft and wizardry. People were wrongly accused of witchcraft and killed for it because people were so brainwashed that they believed it was true. Clearly the Elizabethans were more superstitious than we are today but they enjoyed being entertained by supernatural stories. There are three main groups of characters in the play. ...read more.


This is because of his studying inequalities and his inability to realise that a lion does not speak. This is also quite humorous. The Hoffman version of the film shows slapstick humour at the very first sighting of Bottom. As Bottom is acting out one of the parts that he would like to play, a crowd gather around him. Whilst he acts, he has a huge grin on his face. As the crowd grows bigger he starts acting to his audience. Two drunken men on a balcony above Bottom tip red wine over Bottom. This provokes a laugh from the audience and wipes the grin off Bottom's face. After reading the play, this does not appeal to me as Bottom, as he is not one to get upset over a practical joke. I think that the Noble version shows more slapstick comedy than the Hoffman version. The most noticeable event being the moment that Titania and Bottom share on Titania's huge umbrella. Bottom makes noises of an ass and I found this very funny. I prefer the Bottom on the Noble version of the film, as he is louder and more active. He is what I would call a slapstick comedian. He has more character about him. On the Hoffman version, Bottom gets upset about a practical joke. I could not see this happening with the Bottom on the Noble version. Athens is a society that believes in law and order, which an Elizabethan audience would feel comfortable viewing. Law and order are mainly demonstrated in the first scene of the play, where Hermia is being told to respect her father's wishes or face the consequences. Hermia's father was willing to see his daughter die if she did not respect his wishes. This also demonstrates power, as Hermia's father has the power to control her. In the Hoffman version, powerful clothing is also used to show who is the more powerful. ...read more.


Also, in the Hoffman version, Puck is not active enough and appears slightly lazy in some instances. I find the Noble version more humorous than the Hoffman version in a lot of places. Because of it appealing to a younger audience, the Noble version has to be funny or the audience will lose interest in the film and the willingness to suspend disbelief will be lost. The funniest part of the Noble version has to be where Titania and Bottom share a moment Titania's umbrella, with Bottom making ass sounds. Bottom is the most humorous character in the Noble version and I prefer the Bottom in the Noble version rather than the Hoffman version. The Hoffman version is also humorous in some instances. For example, when Lysander, Demetrius, Helena and Hermia are found naked in the woods by Egeus. The Noble version is definitely more of a fantasy. It emphasises the fact that the play called 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and concentrates on the dreaming theme. All real objects are substituted. For example, stars are substituted with light bulbs. The Noble version implants real life objects into dreamy objects. This creates a fantasy rather than something literal. The only fantasy in the Hoffman version is the fairy world, which is well created by the producer. I think that the Hoffman version is more romantic and sensual than the Noble version because of its calmness. The Noble version is too active and humorous to be as romantic as the Noble version. For example, the first scene of the Hoffman version is calm and sadistic. There is a fountain flowing in the courtyard whilst Theseus and Hippolyta express their feelings to each other. The Noble version, however, has thins in a room full of bright colours and everything larger than life, which I do not like. For me, the Noble version overpowers the Hoffman version. It beats the Hoffman version in almost every area and as a younger audience I prefer the Adrian Noble film version rather than the Michael Hoffman film version of the play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. ...read more.

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