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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Midsummer Night's Dream
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1266  Wednesday, 30 May 2001

[1]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 May 2001 10:44:33 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream

[2]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 May 2001 08:17:22 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream

[3]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
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        Date:   Tue, 29 May 2001 05:12:14 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream

[4]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Tue, 29 May 2001 16:49:58 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1201 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Monday, 28 May 2001 10:44:33 EDT
Subject: 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream

Don Bloom has it right about Beckett, in my view, and so about A
Midsummer Night's Dream. Beckett's fist is raised, of course, against
the cosmos and our strange relationship to it, but in a specifically
Irish  [or even "British"] way. When he has Mrs. Rooney in All That Fall
curse, when trying to straighten her corsets behind an Irish hedge, OH
WHAT A PLANET! we are in the same lost yet busy country as the poor
souls in Dream.

Harry Hill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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Date:           Monday, 28 May 2001 08:17:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream

> In this production (in my German hometown Aachen)
> the couples are given the blessing and are married.
> There they on the stage in black and white and have
> to watch Bottom's pathetic play. They never touch,
> they don't exchange glances. They are deeply
> alienated and shocked. Once Lysander tries to touch
> Hermia but she moves away. They are condemned to live
> together but they can't. So they mirror Theseus and
> Hippolyta who were introduced as a total loveless
> couple themselves she just being "wooed with the
> sword".

For some reason this production's description makes me think of *The
Name of the Rose*, in which the denouement turns on the realization that
laughter is far more subversive and dangerous than tears.

With regard to Theseus and Hippolyta, I have always found their
subsequent appearance in *Two Noble Kinsmen* interesting.  In I.i, the
Second Queen, asking Hippolyta's intercession with Theseus, says

"...soldieress
That equally canst poise sternness with pity,
Whom now I know hast much more power on him
Than ever he had on thee..." (I.i.85-88)

Theseus' and Hippolyta's following exchanges, albeit brief, tend to
support this "outsider's" appraisal of the nature of their
relationship.  Perhaps in MND she was just "wooed with the sword," but
later Shakespeare/Fletcher seem to have thought there was a bit more to
it than that.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Tue, 29 May 2001 05:12:14 EDT
Subject: 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1237 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream

I think Robert Peters has perhaps confused Seriousness with Profundity.
Hamlet is probably the funniest play in the canon.

All the best,
Marcus.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Tue, 29 May 2001 16:49:58 -0400
Subject: 12.1201 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1201 Re: Midsummer Night's Dream

Richard Burt observed that

> Actually, only the men (D and L) change the object of their affections.
> The women (H and H) remain constant to the men throughout the play.

This is an interesting observation considering that sonnet 20 written
possibly around the same time claimed that shifting change was a female
quality.  Perhaps male infidelity requires fairy magic.

Clifford

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