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A Midsummer Night's Dream - How might the staging of Act IV Scene I emphasize the influence of the spirit world on the human world?

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A Midsummer Night's Dream How might the staging of Act IV Scene I emphasize the influence of the spirit world on the human world? Note: My essay is going to explore the ways of staging this scene in the Globe, London. At the start of this scene, the conflict between Titania and Oberon over the Indian child has made Oberon embarrass Titania by magically making her fall in love with bottom. Puck had earlier turned Bottom into an ass to make an even bigger fool of Titania. For this scene I will drape brown and green cloth down the rear of the stage to create an image of a forest. I will also have two very tall and wide wooden pillars. These will be painted to look like trees and decorated with similar, but glittering, cloth towards the top. These will be the platforms for some of the fairies later in the scene. I will launch the scene with Bottom sitting at the front-right of the stage with Titania and the other fairies around him. Puck, who cast the spell on Titania and Bottom, is up on the right pillar looking down on them. ...read more.


By climbing up through the trap door he will have to look up to Oberon, who I think should be on a horse to portray his authority over the others. Oberon must be dressed in dark clothing covering most of his body and should have long dark hair like that of his horse. He should advance, on his horse, right up to sleeping Titania and Bottom and after the line, "Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen" Titania should wake instantly with Bottom still asleep "upon this flowery bed,"(Titania, IV.i.1). He says this now because I imagine he either feels pity for Titania or feel that she has been successfully punished. At this point the relationship between Titania and Oberon is beginning to resolve and this is symbolized by rhyming couplets. Especially when the rhyming of words split between the royal couple such as "Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweet Queen!" and "My Oberon, what visions have I seen!". (Oberon & Titania, IV.i.72-73) When Oberon orders, "Robin, take of this head" puck should walk in front of Bottom removing his beard and ears. After this, music should begin to play once again. ...read more.


As a contrast to this, green would be a suitable colour for Theseus to exemplify his relaxed and understanding approach since the renewed relationship of Titania and Oberon. It is very important at this time that Oberon and Titania are portrayed as very close and in love. Hopefully the audience will understand the idea that the spirit world has an effect on the natural world, with both worlds showing similar reconciliation towards the end of this scene. They should also be able to recognize how the conflicts in the spirit world earlier in the play caused the problems between Theseus and the lovers, and how they were all resolved as Theseus became more understanding when Oberon and Titania's relationship was renewed. This idea is confirmed by Titania's extensive speech earlier in the play (II.i.81-117); it is in this speech that Titania says that the dispute with Oberon has changed the natural patterns of the climate and the seasons, "... though this distemperature we see The seasons alter..." (II.i.106-107). As soon as the three older powers exeunt, the remaining lovers should instantaneously show a less formal and more tranquil manner before they too leave the stage via the steps at one side of the stage. It is now time for Bottom to awake, say his lines to the groundlings and then leave the stage. ...read more.

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