Peter Quince and his company are rehearsing their rendition of Pyramus and Thisbe. Bottom has serious reservations about the play: Pyramus kills himself with a sword, and the lion is frightening, both factors that are sure to terrify the women in the audience. The other players agree, wondering if the play should be abandoned, but Bottom has a solution.
Its time is night. When the day dawns the shadows flee away, the dramatis personae awake, and all comes right again. Shakespeare may have dreamed it, lying on some cowslip bank.
And, what is most remarkable in this play, written by a master of character, there are almost no human characters in it that we can take an interest in. Speaking of Shakespeare as a master of character, I should like to quote to you a passage from Coleridge, which applies with equal force to him who, I think, most nearly approached Shakespeare, - I mean Balzac.
Like characters in real life, they are very commonly misunderstood, and almost always understood by different persons in different ways.
You must not suppose a pressure and a passion always acting on, or in, the character. Passion, in Shakespeare, is that by which the individual is distinguished from others, not that which makes a different kind of man of him. Shakespeare followed the main march of human affections.
He entered into no analyses of the passions and faiths of men, but assured himself that such and such passions and faiths were grounded on our common nature, and not on the mere incidents of ignorance or disease. This is an important consideration, and constitutes our Shakespeare the morning-star - the guide and pioneer - of true philosophy.
In his mode of drawing characters there are no pompous descriptions of a man by himself; his character is to be drawn, as in real life, from the whole course of the play, or out of the mouths of friends or enemies.
We have the good-natured, appreciative Theseus, who makes the best of everything; the proud, fastidious Hippolyta; the tall, fair, spiteful, cowardly, exasperated Helena; the petite, sprightly, dark, confiding, outraged Hermia, - brave, but with a will and temper of her own; Lysander, the true gentleman and lover; Demetrius, who was no gentleman, but at once hot-tempered and a sneak.
Their jealousy, their caprices, or their mischief, are mere surface qualities. The Gods of Hellas, as we find them in the Iliad, were of various origins. Besides the Olympian divinities, there were the adopted gods of Asia, - the gods, Saturn, and others, who preceded the Olympians, and who seem a survival of the light from Paradise; there were also deified qualities, as Rumor, Discord, etc.
In like manner, everywhere that the Celts settled, - or those Indo-Aryan tribes who were our ancestors, - they made, or they found, the earth peopled with elves, fairies, and nixies. The elves, or gnomes, lived under the earth; the fairies above ground; the nixies in the water.
The monks of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries - chiefly men of peasant birth - carried their belief in these beings into their cells. Indeed, a more extensive knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon fairies," says Mr.
Thomas Wright, the antiquary, "may perhaps be gathered from the legends of the Anglo-Saxon Saints than from all other sources. Only remembering that in the transformation, the elves, when mischievously inclined, became devils; and when beneficent, angels.
There is nothing that commends itself to our fancy in any of the popular stories of little black elves, hatched out of an incubus, who spent their time in alternately persecuting and assisting the human race.Course Summary Check out this ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' study guide course to analyze the play's story, characters, quotes and more.
Puck - Also known as Robin Goodfellow, Puck is Oberon’s jester, a mischievous fairy who delights in playing pranks on mortals. Though A Midsummer Night’s Dream divides its action between several groups of characters, Puck is the closest thing the play has to a protagonist.
His enchanting. This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William ashio-midori.com provides a thorough exploration of the play’s plot, characters and main themes, including romance and fantasy.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by: William Shakespeare First performed around , Shakespeare’s comic fantasy of four lovers who find themselves bewitched by fairies is a sly reckoning with love, jealousy and marriage.
The play's humor continues in this scene through the vehicle of the players. As in Act I, Scene 1, their belief in the audience's gullibility is highlighted.
Bottom has found a new objection to the play: Pyramus must kill himself, which will offend the women in the audience. Puck - Also known as Robin Goodfellow, Puck is Oberon’s jester, a mischievous fairy who delights in playing pranks on mortals.
Though A Midsummer Night’s Dream divides its action between several groups of characters, Puck is the closest thing the play has to a protagonist. His enchanting.