Tuesday, September 28, 2010
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
A.K.A THE ONE ABOUT THE FAIRIES
CAST OF CHARACTERS
THESEUS: "The Duke Of Athens." --- The head honcho of the court. Supposedly, Hercules cousin, so he's big shit. Shows that all this takes place in a mythical Greek past. Apparently, he wins over Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons, by defeating her in battle, and raping her, so of course now they are going to get married. This makes the mood in the play light and fluffy and festive. Nothing wins a woman's heart like sexual assault.
HIPPOLYTA: "The legendary Queen of the Amazons" --- engaged to Theseus. The fact that she becomes all timid-like and obedient to him because he destroyed her in combat is a little disappointing. You wouldn't see Wonder Woman getting like that. It's all very "Luke & Laura" from back in the day "General Hospital".
EGEUS: "A respected nobleman in Theseus's court". --- Yet another mega-controlling father that goes whining to Theseus that his daughter won't do as he says. He wants her to marry this douchebag named Demetrius, that she doesn't care about. She's in love with this dude that actually really loves her named Lysander. Papa says if she doesn't listen to him, she should get the death penalty, or become a nun. Oh, you can feel the love...
HERMIA: "Egeus's daughter. Hermia is a beautiful, young woman of Athens, and both Demetrius, and Lysander are in love with her." --- One of those rare, strong willed, and independent women you'll see in his plays. Defies her father, and is determined to be with Lysander. Hermia is homegirl to Helena.
LYSANDER: "A young nobleman of Athens in love with Hermia." --- and vice versa. Her father is against it, but it doesn't phase him. He's into that whole "love conquers all" stuff. He convinces Hermia to elope and run away with him. And the plot thickens...
DEMETRIUS: Another "young nobleman of Athens". --- He's the douchebag trying to make Hermia marry him (and also using her father to help him), even though he knows she wants nothing to do with him. Demetrius played Hermia's friend Helena at one point, but then dissed her to chase after Hermia. We always want what we can't have...
HELENA: "A young woman of Athens in love with Demetrius." --- Demetrius played her, then rejected and abandoned her to go after her BFF Hermia. Hermia plays the pity-me card a lot, and belittles herself by jumping into dangerous, humiliating, and stupid situations to chase after this loser who wants nothing to do with her.
ROBIN GOODFELLOW A.K.A "PUCK": "a mischievous fairy who delights in playing pranks on mortals, Robin is Oberon's jester." --- He's like the head fairy under Oberon and Titania. Oberon's right hand man (fairy). His shenanigans are responsible for most of the crazy mess that manifest in the play. He tries to play innocent, but he knows what he is doing. He's a naughty little fucker, and THAT'S why Puck is my favorite in this play.
OBERON: "The King of the fairies." --- In the beginning of the story, he's having marital difficulties with his wife, the Queen of the fairies, Titania. She refuses to give up a young Indian prince he wants for himself as his own personal knight. He decides to get revenge on her by sending out Robin Goodfellow to fetch out a magic potion to use against her which is what ends up wreaking havoc on everybody.
TITANIA: "The beautiful Queen of the fairies." --- She's pissed off at her husband, Oberon for wanting to take her little Indian prince away from her. She wants to stay away from him and "his bed", meaning she ain't givin' him any until he stops making her mad. She's also miffed about the fairies' "magic dances" that evidently make the world go 'round being disrupted which she also blames Oberon for.
NICK BOTTOM: "The overconfident weaver chosen to play Pyramus in a play that a group of craftsmen have decided to put on for Theseus's wedding celebration." --- The main average Joe Shmoe in the play. Real cocky, and a real dumbass. Doesn't even think twice about how strange it is when the beautiful, Queen of the fairies Titania all of sudden, out of nowhere falls in love with him, (because the fairies put a spell on her), or when the head fairy Puck plays a little trick on him and temporarily gives him a donkey's head.
PETER QUINCE: "A carpenter, and the leader of the attempt to put on a play." --- Quince plays the "Prologue". He's also a pushover, and gets shoved aside by Bottom a lot because Nick Bottom pretty much tries to take over the play most of the time.
FRANCIS FLUTE: "The bellows-mender (yes, they had occupations with names like those back in the day), chosen to play Thisbe in the craftsmen's play" --- The bearded layman in the group who was chosen to play the girl, since theatre was a boys club back then. Now, it's mostly gay men (especially when they are musicals), and straight girls.
ROBIN STARVELING: "The tailor chosen to play Thisbe's mother in the play" --- He ends up playing "Moonshine" a.k.a the moon/the light of the moon/the man in the moon. They basically needed someone to hold the lantern so they could see.
TOM SNOUT: "The tinker chosen to play Pyramus's father in the play within the play." --- He ends up playing the part of "Wall." Literally, a wall, that supposed to keep the lovers separated. They needed an actual person to play that part. Yeah, they are all idiots.
SNUG: "The joiner chosen to play the lion in the craftsmen's play." --- He worries he's gonna scare the delicate ladies in the audience with his roaring, so he wants to make sure they know he's really not a lion, that he's a man. Yep, he's not the brightest crayon in the box.
PHILOSTRATE: (rhymes with prostrate, well, I don't know if it's really pronounced like that): "Theseus's Master of the Revels." --- Theseus's assistant, his helper, his biatch.
PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTE, and MUSTARDSEED: Titania's little fairies she lives with and orders around. I would LOVE to know where these fairy names came from. RANDOM. Maybe MY fairy name will be either BLACKBERRY JAM, DUSTBUNNY, or GREENBEAN.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written around 1594 to 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, who are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.
MY URBAN ANALYSIS
Our story begins with Theseus and Hippolyta getting ready for their grand wedding, then Egeus, father of Hermia comes along, whining to the head honcho Theseus about his daughter not wanting to marry this schmuck Demetrius, because she is in love with this nice guy named Lysander. Hippolyta stands by and is visibly perturbed about the ordeal, but doesn't really do anything about it. So, my first bone to pick with this is that it's kinda like your Dad running to the Mayor complaining about you not marrying someone he wants you to marry because you want to be with a woman. Okay, so it's not exactly like that, but you get the idea. Then to top it off, the father threatens to have his daughter executed or forced to become a nun if she does not do what he says. And again with the arranged marriage, and virginity bullshit. Charming. The other thing that's messed up, too, is the fact the at one point Demetrius was originally mackin' on Hermia's BFF Helena, then dropped her. Also the fact that Lysander is just as handsome, and well-to-do as Demetrius, so I don't know why Egeus has such a hard-on for Demetrius, because Lysander is just as good as he is for his daughter, if not better. Helena and Lysander decide to elope and run away into the forest, and live in another town.
Meanwhile, while all this drama is going on, we move along to the beginning of the "play within a play", segment of our play. A small group of everyday, average working joe-shmoes decide to do something somewhat noble and nice and put on a little show for the wedding. Bottom, Quince, Starveling, Snug, Flute, and Snout (all laymen with different occupations), not very educated, or sophisticated, but very sincere try their bestest at giving theatre a shot. They are very lousy at it, but it's quite humorous, and endearing.
Then the plot thickens. Deep in the forest we find the King and Queen of the fairies, Oberon, and Titania having a little bit of a marital riff. It involves all kinds of juiciness. Stuff about infidelity, she was creepin', he was playin' her, etc. She has an Indian prince that he wants as a servant, and she's saying no. It gets wicked. Imagine those teeny, tiny, fairy fights. Well, I don't really know if they are tiny, but they're FAIRIES. You're probably thinking, "Pshh, what can they do? A bunch of fairies." After reading this, you wouldn't wanna fuck with a fairy if you met one.
Next Helena ratted on Hermia to Demetrius, out of jealousy, so both of them go running into the forest, (in fairy territory), Demetrius running after Hermia, and Helena running after Demetrius. Poor girl, she is crazy, stupid, madly in love with this douchebag, and he wants nothing to do with her. At one point he even threatens to physically harm her if she doesn't stop following and doesn't go away. At this part, I almost hoped a rabid bear would have jumped out of the bushes and mauled his ass. She's just as beautiful, and nice as Hermia. Tsk, tsk, tsk. I hate when guys don't appreciate what they have. Anyways, Oberon sees and overhears EVERYTHING, and decides to help out this little maiden in distress. Oberon sends Puck out to find this little, purple magic love potion from a flower, supposedly made by Cupid himself to use on Titania, first to teach her a lesson, then second, to fall in love with him again (basically using it for them not to argue anymore), and also using the potion against Demetrius, so he'll fall in love with Helena again. For some reason, I am torn on this one. I don't like him using it on his wife, but I'm okay with him using it on Demetrius for Helena. I don't know, I feel Helena deserves to recieve that kind of fierce love, and as for Oberon and Titania, they just need some serious marriage counseling to settle their little fairy fights.
Okay, so I'm gonna try to do Act 3 in a nutshell. Well, sort of. The dumb laymen guys are in the forest rehearsing their little play, Puck comes along and decides he can't put up with their dumbness, so puts a spell on the main dumb ass Bottom, and turns his head into one of a donkey (an ass), funniest part about that is Bottom doesn't even notice he has changed, even though his friends have pretty much run for their lives, away from him. Oberon's spell, (which consists of squeezing the flower oil onto the eyelids of the unsuspecting victims while asleep, so when they wake, they fall in love with whoever they see first) he puts it on Titania and she falls for Bottom and his big, jackass head, and has all her little fairy assistants at his every beck and call. Oberon orders Puck to do the same to Demetrius but instead Puck "accidently" puts the spell on Lysander. Lysander ditches Hermia for Helena, then Demetrius gets the spell, too, then both are after Helena, and EVERYTHING is just all fucked up now. Finally, Lysander gets one more squirt of the flower, and he is back in Hermia's arms again. I'll tell ya', I wish I could get my hands on a Love Potion Number 9 like that.
Finally, Oberon re-spells Titania back into being in love with him, which is a good thing because Bottom was getting just a little too cozy being so spoiled by the Queen of the Fairies. Theseus, Egeus, and company go off to the forest looking for Hermia and find the funny foursome sleeping in the woods. Funny thing though, I could've sworn that Lysander saw one of the guys first when he woke up, but didn't fall in love for them. I guess it's just a heterosexual spell.
Bottom comes back to his crew, minus the jackass head, because Puck finally took it off him. The wedding happens, which now turns into a TRIPLE wedding, (might as well), and Theseus decides to choose the laymen's play as their entertainment. It then mainly consists of two lovers who talk to each other through a wall, in the moonlight. There's a lion. It roars. The hero thinks the girl was killed by a lion and kills himself. The girl finds the guy dead. She kills herself, too. The end. Very Romeo & Juliet. Surprise, surprise. Apparently the acting, and the whole play sucked, but they gave it a chance.
In the end, the King and Queen fairies do a little fairy song and dance and live happily ever after while Puck says adieu to the audience, and you figure he will probably continue his shenanigans, and all the lovers who were lost in the forest believe it was all just a midsummer night's dream.
Makes me want to break into "Grease"'s, "...those summmmer NIGGGGHTS..."
Next up, OTHELLO.