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A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Day Two Slide Show ENGL 305 Dr. Fike. Reminders. The tardy and absence policies are now in effect. If you arrive late, you must see me at the end of the hour so that I convert your absence mark to a tardy mark.

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a midsummer night s dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Day Two Slide Show

ENGL 305

Dr. Fike

reminders
Reminders
  • The tardy and absence policies are now in effect.
  • If you arrive late, you must see me at the end of the hour so that I convert your absence mark to a tardy mark.
  • Please be sure that you are familiar with the course’s policies on absences and tardiness.
  • IF you are here for the first time, you will need to go to http://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem and get documents from our course website. Also be sure to add yourself to the course listserv.
another reminder
Another Reminder
  • Please let the class know if you are in a concert, art show, theater production, dance recital, etc.
  • I try to attend my students’ special events.
last reminder
Last Reminder
  • A slide show is not to be viewed before the class in which it is presented.
  • If I see you with a copy of it, I will ask you to put it away. Why? You do not get to have the answers before I even ask the questions. Also, you need to learn how to take notes on your own.
paper proposal
Paper Proposal
  • The pre-proposal assignment worked very nicely.
  • Key point: I assume that you have read the play that you are going to write about.
  • You may read background information but not Shakespeare criticism (books and articles about your play).
  • Minimum length: 2 FULL pages.
  • Be sure to follow the “Format for Papers,” especially by using Courier New 12-point.
  • Do you have any questions about the proposal?
here is the assignment
Here Is the Assignment
  • The first step is a proposal (2 full pages) in which you indicate what topic you have selected and propose a focus and an angle of approach. The section called "Suggested Paper Topics" has a number of workable term paper topics, but please feel free to construct your own in collaboration with me. You do not have much time to work on the proposal, so do not worry about making flawless statements at this stage (besides, your grade for the proposal is for process only:  as long as it is long enough, reflects a genuine attempt to fulfill the assignment, and is written correctly, it will receive full credit). Although the proposal is very preliminary, you should try to come up with a title and a tentative thesis and as much supporting detail as you can. The goal of the assignment is to begin a dialogue with me on how your project might develop. It will be tempting to select a topic on one of the first plays; however, I strongly urge you to look ahead and consider the possibility that your preferred topic may be related, for example, to one of the tragedies. Two final points are necessary:  you must actually read your play before you write your proposal, and you should not do research at this stage.  Finally, I want you to include a list of works cited (it will most likely include only your play at this point, but you should do the entry MLA-style; see the model for a selection in an anthology if you are using Bevington\'s text or some other anthology).  For further information, see the slideshow on paper proposals.
to do and not to do
To Do and Not To Do
  • To Do: Have a look at the slideshow.
  • Not To Do: Do not just restate the topic that you found online and say, well, you’ll read the play when we get to it.
  • Banish from your thinking machines the idea that all you have to do this semester is continually recycle your paper proposal (that is, keep saying that you WILL do X or Y rather than actually doing X or Y).
review
Review
  • Various references in the plays suggest that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare.
  • Comedy is a structural principle (characters overcome problems).
  • Shakespeare’s plays are “hybrids”—they mix elements of comedy and tragedy. MSND is a good example (“the jaws of darkness”--YIKES!).
  • MSND dramatizes patriarchal power, both in the state and in the family.
liminal moment
“Liminal Moment”
  • We used this term to refer to the historical period in which Shakespeare wrote MSND. The play dramatizes a shift in marital conventions (from paternal authority to companionate marriage).
  • But the play also dramatizes a period of transition in the lives of the young lovers (from childhood innocence to marital sexuality). See especially 2.2.47ff. and 151-56.
go back
Go Back
  • Finish day one Powerpoint, starting at slide 29.
outline for today
Outline for Today
  • Reason and love
  • Helena’s statement and related passages
  • Renaissance and Freudian psychology
  • Connections between 1.1 and 1.2
  • Chart
  • Group exercise: passages
  • Groups of characters
  • The two courts
  • The Indian boy
reason and love
Reason and Love
  • Helena’s statement about love and the mind (imagination?) at 1.1.226ff.
  • Read aloud, remembering the meter . . . which IS?
  • Example from Sonnet 12:

When I do count the clock that tells the time

iambic pentameter
Iambic Pentameter

When I | do count | the clock | that tells | the time

An iamb is a foot (a unit of metrical measurement) that consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

An iambic pentameter line has 5 iambs.

Ordinarily we use a flattened “U” and an acute accent mark to indicate unstressed and stressed syllables.

outline of helena s speech
Outline of Helena’s Speech
  • Present situation/start of problem (lines 226-31).
  • Love theory (lines 232-41, summarized on next slide).
  • Example: Demetrius’s inconstancy supports the love/Cupid theory (lines 242-45).
  • Future: Helena will rat on Hermia—Helena has a plan to win Demetrius back (lines 246-49).
helena s love theory lines 232 41
Helena’s Love Theory (lines 232-41)
  • Love transforms the base/lowly because love is mental, not based on the eyes.
  • Thus it makes sense that Cupid is blind—i.e., love is subjective; blindness is an appropriate emblem for love’s inner nature.
  • Cupid has no discrimination.
  • People fall in love quickly—“unheedy haste.”
  • Cupid is a child; like other children he is often deluded.
  • Therefore, Cupid is widely criticized.
bedford 50
Bedford 50
  • “Rhyme enhances the music already created by the rhythm of the passage, but its singsong effect also introduces a delicately critical comment on the baffled Helena’s perception of her misery. This excerpt exposes a feature of Renaissance language often puzzling to modern ears, that pronunciation was apparently as unfixed as syntax: here ‘eyes’ rhymes with ‘qualities,’ although we cannot be sure whether ‘eyes’ is pronounced ees, whether ‘qualities’ concludes with a long i sound, or whether the sound might have been something in between” (emphasis added).
deconstruction
Deconstruction
  • What IS deconstruction?
  • How would you deconstruct Helena’s speech?
possible answer
Possible Answer
  • Deconstruction looks at contradictions, which can not be simultaneously true, such as the following:
    • “Love looks not with the eyes.”

VS.

    • “Demetrius looked on Hermia’s eyne” and “But herein mean I to enrich my pain, / To have his sight thither and back again.”
  • POINT: Helena contradicts herself. She says that eyes do not matter; then she gives two examples of how they do matter.
why is this important
Why Is This Important?
  • What kind of point arises from the contradiction within Helena’s statement?
similar statements
Similar Statements
  • Lysander’s similar statement at 2.2.121: “The will of man is by his reason swayed, / And reason says you are the worthier maid.” Do we believe him?
  • Bottom’s more credible statement at 3.1.138-39: “And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays—the more the pity that some honest neighbors will not make them friends.”
  • POINTS:
    • The tension between reason and love/passion is one of the things that imperil the lovers.
    • Important triad: reason—will—passion/desire.
    • Freud: Reason:superego::will:ego::passion:id.
    • Too much passion (think Dido, “the Carthage queen,” at 1.1.173) inclines a character toward tragedy.
connections
Connections
  • What things connect 1.1 and 1.2?
connections between 1 1 and 1 2
Connections between 1.1. and 1.2
  • The lovers’ situationparallels that of P&T.
  • Binary thinking leads to tragedy and must be overcome.
    • Forced marriage or death in 1.1
    • Lover or tyrant in 1.2
  • Young persons: “Farewell, sweet playfellow” (1.1.220) and “I have a beard coming” (1.2.42).
  • Moonlight: the lovers will meet in the woods at night; so will the mechanicals.
  • Mixture of comedy and tragedy: Marriage vs. sterility or death (1.1); “The most lamentable comedy” (1.2)
  • Egeus and Quince make similar statements about the power of the imagination.
  • Playing roles in “P&T” parallels playing roles in Athenian society: tyrant, father, daughter, lovers. The fact that Bottom wants to play all the roles suggests the kind of psychological integration toward which the characters need to move.
digression on discourse
Digression on Discourse
  • Positional discourse: e.g., father and daughter (a position is held)
  • Ethical discourse: e.g., each is a victim (a role is played)
point
POINT
  • What is the point of these comparisons?
today
Today
  • This is our “activity day,” and your participation is crucial for the part of our period.
  • Day two of our study of every play will be a workshop day.
discussion of the chart handout
Discussion of the Chart Handout
  • SETTING: Think not only about the settings themselves but also about what the humans experience there. Use the “MSND Chart Exercise” to construct a 3-column chart.
  • What points emerged in your discussion?
nigredo dark night of the soul
Nigredo: Dark Night of the Soul

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (www.wikipedia.com):

  • Nigredo, or blackness, in alchemy means putrefaction or decomposition. The alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher\'s stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter [1]. Chaos precedes enlightenment. In psychologyCarl Jung (a student of alchemy) forwarded the notion of nigredo as the moment of maximum despair as a prerequisite to enlightenment.

Daryl Sharp, C.G. Jung Lexicon:

  • “An alchemical term, corresponding psychologically to the mental disorientation that typically arises in the process of assimilating unconscious contents, particularly aspects of the shadow.”
related points
Related Points
  • Part One: Theseus/Athens/court. Male over female (Hermia, Hippolyta), reason over spirit, law over charity.
  • Part Two: Oberon woods. Female over male, Titania over Oberon, passion/flesh over reason, bungled attempt to help humans. Northrop Frye’s term: “green world.”
  • Part Three: Athens/court. We are now back in the original setting, but problems have been overcome, and the feminine has been integrated. Renewal, harmony, marriage.
important pattern
Important Pattern
  • “Thus the action of the comedy begins in a world represented as a normal world, moves into the green world, goes into a metamorphosis there in which the comic resolution is achieved, and returns to the normal world. … The green world charges the comedies with a symbolism in which the comic resolution contains a suggestion of the old ritual pattern of the victory of summer over winter. …there is something maternal about the green world, in which the new order of the comic resolution is nourished and brought to birth” (my emphasis).

--Northrop Frye, The Argument of Comedy

slide32
Note
  • The three-part pattern that the chart maps out repeats all over the place in literature (see next slide).
  • Keep it in mind as we read Shakespeare and as you do other course work.
great chart 1
Great Chart #1
  • MSND Chart: http://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem/Courses/ENGL%20305/305%20MSND%20chart%201.doc
group exercise
Group Exercise
  • QUOTATIONS: Two questions—What do the quotations SAY, and how do they relate to each other? Look for patterns! (Omit Spenser—he is for day three.)
  • GROUPS: Get in groups of 3-5 people and continue your discussion for 15 minutes. Be sure to sit in a circle. Appoint a questioner and a scribe/reporter. If you finish talking about your assigned topic, switch to the other one.
  • LARGE GROUP: Finally, share your findings with the rest of the class.
  • Hint: You need to do with the quotations what a preacher does with lectionary readings: weave them together.
quotations
Quotations
  • What are the quotations about?
notes on each quotation
Notes on Each Quotation
  • “Help me, Lysander”:
    • Dream
    • Snake = phallus
    • Precognition (3.2.71-73)
  • “There sleeps Titania”:
    • Sleep
    • Snake = transformation
  • “You spotted snakes”
    • Snake = transformation (the fairies are trying to protect Titania from this)
  • Theseus: Imagination
  • Bottom: Dream (?)
    • Mystical synesthesia
    • Another example: Emily Dickinson’s “I heard a fly buzz—when I died”: “Blue—uncertain stumbling Buzz”
  • St. Paul:
    • Heaven transcends the senses’ ability to process experience.
    • His own OBE (?), the mystic’s dilemma (intrapsychic vs. extrapsychic)
next question about the quotations
Next Question about the Quotations
  • What points link them together?
  • Patterns? Categories?
putting it together
Putting It Together
  • Types of psychological experience:
    • Dream
    • Sleep
    • Imagination
    • Vision
  • What is accessed:
    • The primitive world or instinct
    • The archetypes
    • The unconscious
    • The spirit world
  • How this is done:
    • Going deeper into the psyche
    • Going outside the body
also ghosts
Also: Ghosts

Damnèd spirits all,

That in crossways and floods have burial,

Already to their wormy beds are gone.

For fear lest day should look their shames upon,

They willfully themselves exile from light

And must for aye consort with black-browed night.

(3.2.382-87)

point40
POINT
  • Thus it is possible that MSND enacts a series of ways of accessing the unconscious/spiritual part of ourselves. Bottom’s experience in the woods may be analogous to a visionary experience (profound but disorienting).
  • This is one reason why MSND lends itself so well to psychological interpretation.
slide41
Note
  • Sometimes I share things that I have written. I do this NOT because you have to agree or because I insist upon my own position but because I want to share my ideas with you, my fellow students of Shakespeare.
my conclusions
My Conclusions

Athens represents consciousness, and the moonlit woods represent both aspects of the unconscious mind. The archetypal material of the collective unconscious can be accessed in three compatible ways—through dream, via the imagination, and in visionary experience. Woven into Bottom’s vision, however, are suggestions of a paranormal experience that transcends the mind’s conscious awareness of unconscious content. Through Pauline allusion and Puck’s mention of the “morning lark” (4.1.93), a symbol of the “reasonable soul’s” upward journey “toward God” (Olson, “Court Marriage” 115), Shakespeare augurs a mystical realm that transcends the psychological. Like Paul, one can access it while still alive with the help of the Holy Spirit, but imagination may enable something similar. To the extent that the archetypal is spiritual, what Jung calls the “active imagination”—a “switching off [of] consciousness, at least to a relative extent,” meaning presumably a switching off of reason (CW 11, 875/537)—enables transcendent experience. Reason inhibits spiritual revelation.

--Dr. Fike, A Jungian Study of Shakespeare:The Visionary Mode

summary of previous slide
Summary of Previous Slide
  • Levels of reality: physical world  personal unconscious  collective unconscious  spirit world.
  • Dream, imagination, and vision enable transport among these categories.
  • POINT: The play dramatizes processes on all of these levels. It enacts the psyche.
four groups of characters
Four Groups of Characters
  • Fairies: Oberon, Titania, Puck (woods).
  • Mythological characters: Theseus and Hipployta (Athens).
  • The four lovers (Athens, woods, Athens).
  • The mechanicals (Athens, woods, Athens).
  • POINT: Multiple plots illuminate the main story of the four young lovers.
the two courts
The Two Courts
  • Relationship between Theseus and Hippolyta: he wooed her with his sword; she is now obedient.
  • Oberon is having some problems with his woman: conflict over the Indian boy.
    • Key passage: 2.1.123ff. (see questions on next slide)
    • Other passages: 2.1.20ff., 3.2.375-76, 4.1.57ff.
large group discussion
Large Group Discussion
  • What is the nature of the disagreement between Oberon and Titania?
  • Why is it significant?
  • How do you interpret it?
  • What does it relate to?
  • What are the problems in their relationship?
parallels
Parallels
  • Fairies: Oberon and Titania
  • Mythological characters: Theseus and Hippolyta
  • Four lovers
  • Pyramus and Thisbe (played by the mechanicals)
  • POINT: There is a problem or potential problem in each group of characters. Range of seriousness: from inconvenience to tragedy.
next time
Next Time
  • Unofficial oral quiz if time allows (quizzes are posted on the same webpage as this presentation).
  • What is the significance of the title? Who is dreaming? See Puck’s epilogue.
  • How do you read the play in light of the probability that Elizabeth was in the original audience?
  • Think about Theseus’s comments on the imagination in Act 5.
  • How does the play-within-the-play comment on the action in the woods?

END

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