The wood in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'has been variously interpreted as a pretty and charming place, home to aninnocent troupe of fairies, and a malevolent and threatening place, peopled byan altogether more sinister type of spirit.

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Katie Jackson 12MH

The wood in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ has been variously interpreted as a pretty and charming place, home to an innocent troupe of fairies, and a malevolent and threatening place, peopled by an altogether more sinister type of spirit.

How would your set and costume designs for the scenes set in the wood communicate your interpretations of the fairy world?

Elizabethans were extremely conscious of the parallels between human life and the natural world and I believe that the natural world, often perceived to be well-balanced and harmonious is an example to the human world as similarly it can also suffer discord and unrest. Evidently, the woods demonstrate several factors as although a place of mystery, magic and action in which the fairies feel at home this contrasts with the dangerous, wild place in which humans feel threatened and lonely. Thus, I would describe the woods to be a place of great beauty as well as an area of potential danger.


Creating a distinct fairy world, I would choose the fairies, ‘ Peaseblossom, cobweb, moth and mustardseed’, loyal followers of Titania to be professional ballet dancers in order to ensure that they move delicately and flowing and I would use the rhythm of their dance to signify the mood of the woods. Stereotypically, ballet dancers are graceful and attractive and this side to the fairies would symbolise the charm and beauty of the woods. I would choose them to wear a short, elegant dress made out of floral print fabric to demonstrate a sense of natural and earthly presence with some chiffon netting over the top of this conveying their delicacy as chiffon is a smooth fabric. The colours of their dresses should be different shades of pinks and purples as these colours emphasize beauty and exquisiteness and don’t have a harsh tone to them. I would also choose them to wear delicate glittery silver and gold wings to portray a sense of perfection and worth. The material of the wings should be a fleece fabric in gold and silver with a very soft texture and on top netting in the same colour to give the wings different layers. In order to contrast this demonstrating the more dangerous, mystical form of the woods and the natural world I would have their faces to look more unusual and mysterious using exaggerated make-up in dark colours such as browns, greens, blacks and blues. Their facial expression should also be stern and severe; reflecting that although the woods may appear to be innocent and pure actually, underneath they contains much danger and trepidation.

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      Titania, passionate and stunning, I believe should wear a very beautiful long, flowing dress reaching the floor made out of silk, emphasizing her purity. The top half of the dress should incorporate some figured polyester satin which would have printed butterflies on representing her relation to delicate, natural creatures. Evidently, Titania also has a more sensual side of her nature as the intimacy which she treats Bottom with highlights the difference between his “mortal grossness” and her delicate beauty. Demonstrating this, her dress should be off the shoulders and I would choose her to wear a white, ...

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