Drama Study Unit Introduction:. The Renaissance and William Shakespeare’s , A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Renaissance Key Facts. What? “ rebirth ” of classic era (Greek and Roman ideas) When? 1400 – 1700 Where? Europe Why is it Important?
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The Renaissance and William Shakespeare’s,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“rebirth” of classic era (Greek and Roman ideas)
1400 – 1700
Canadian values and laws developed from Renaissance ideas.
experiencing, instead of memorizing, developed. Student opinions were valued.
GEOGRAPHY: views of the world went from this:
The 4 Humours, Elements, and Seasons:
Science was developing, but didn’t exist as we know it.
blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm.
sanguine, melancholic, choleric, or phlegmatic.
Find your personality type:
Medicine aimed to restore balance in the following ways:
3 months pregnant (oops).
Written in blank verse (iambic pentameter, not rhyming)
Could a soap opera add more that THAT?
Could it get any better?
Athens is a city with rules and laws. It symbolizes LAW and ORDER
The Forest symbolizes disobedience, unpredictability, CHAOS and DISORDER.
Magical events happen in forests; think of fairy tales, Harry Potter, LOTR, etc.
Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius. Hermia hates Demetrius because he’s a player, even though he really likes Hermia. Demetrius rats her out to the Duke, Theseus, who’s about to marry a hot Amazon chicita named Hippolyta. Hermia’s best friend, Helena, loves Demetrius, but Demetrius is a jerk to her. Meanwhile, Hermia is in love with Lysander, who also loves her. The two plan to sneak away into the forest together, but Helena overhears and tells Demetrius, who follows them. So, Helena follows Demetrius who is following Hermia who is following Lysander. Confused yet? No? Just wait…
In the forest, two fairies, the King fairy, Oberon, and his girl, Titania, are fighting. Titania has adopted a small boy. Oberon wants a little lovin’ and can’t seem to get any now that Titania spends all her time with her son. Oberon gets his “right hand man”-fairy, Puck, to make her fall in love with Lysander, but Puck is a trickster and gets her to fall in love with a man who’s been turned into a donkey. That’s another story. Here it is:
The man-donkey is really Bottom (get it? he’s an “ass”?) who is an actor (mechanical) working on a play to perform for Theseus and Hippolyta. He was sleeping and Puck found him when he was looking for Lysander and decided to have some fun.
Meanwhile, Puck has also given his potion to Lysander and made him fall in love with Helena. Hermia is outraged and Helena is annoyed. The two girls have a nail-scratching-eyes-hair-pulling-fight fight.
How will all this be resolved?
You are now ready to study A Midsummer Night’s Dream.You should be able to understand not only the plot, but also the more complex ideas woven together from the fabrics of the culture the play was written in.