A midsummer Night’s Dream 國立中山大學 【通識博雅核心課程】

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • 國立中山大學

  • 【通識博雅核心課程】

  • 中外文學

  • Western Literature

  • Shakespeare

  • 講授日期:2008年12月12日

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

  • Born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England

  • Between the years of 1588 and 1613

  • --38 plays (comedy, history, tragedy)

  • Q: 4 great tragedies by Shakepeare?

  • --Ovidian poems

  • Venus and Adonis (1593)

  • The Rape of Lucrece (1594)

  • --154 Sonnets (in early 1590s)

  • about love, fidelity, mortality,

  • and the artist’s power and voice.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595 or 1596)

  • Themes of love and transformation

  • Midsummer’s Eve and May Day

  • One of Shakespeare’s early comedies

  • At approximately the same time as Romeo and Juliet

  • “Pyramus and Thisbe”

  • a play within the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • 4 separate plots

  • 4 groups of characters

Act I, Scene i

  • New Characters:

  • Theseus: duke of Athens; engaged to Hippolyta

  • Hippolyta: engaged to Theseus

  • Egeus: Hermia’s father

  • Lysander: the youth in love with Hermia

  • Demetrius: the man chosen by Egeus for Hermia

  • Hermia: a young woman in love with Lysander but ordered by her father to marry Demetrius

  • Helena: Hermia’s friend from childhood who is in love with Demetrius

  • Philostrate: the master of the revel (celebration for Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding)

Act I, Scene I

  • Theseus awaits his wedding day.

  • Egeus brings Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius to Theseus.

  • Lysander and Hermia plan an escape.

  • Helena:

  • How happy some o'er other some can be!

  • Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.

  • But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;

  • He will not know what all but he do know:

  • And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,

  • So I, admiring of his qualities:

  • Things base and vile, folding no quantity,

  • Love can transpose to form and dignity.

  • Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;

  • And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.

  • Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste;

  • Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:

  • And therefore is love said to be a child,

  • Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd.

  • (I, i)

Act I, Scene ii

  • New Characters:

  • Peter Quince (the carpenter):

  • --author and director of the play-within-the-play (pwp)

  • Nick Bottom (the weaver):

  • --manager of the pwp

  • --Pyramus in the pwp

  • --the object of Titania’s love

  • Francis Flute (the bellows mender):

  • --unwillingly plays the role of Thisbe in the pwp

  • Snug (the joiner):

  • --portrays the lion in the pwp because he roars well

  • Robin Starveling (the tailor):

  • --portrays the moon in the pwp

  • Tom Snout (the tinker):

  • --portrays a wall in the pwp

Act I, Scene ii

  • The craftsmen meet in the wood to rehearse the pwp.

  • The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe

Act II, Scene i

  • New Characters:

  • Robin Goodfellow (Puck): a hobgoblin in Oberon’s service

  • Oberon: king of the fairies

  • Titania: queen of the fairies

Act II, Scene i

  • Puck plays all sorts of tricks on humans and animals alike.

  • Titania remarks that Nature is at odds with itself due to their argument.

  • Oberon sends Puck to find a certain flower called “love-in-idleness” (for love juice).

  • Demetrius enters the wood with Helena in pursuit.

  • Oberon instructs Puck to anoint Demetrius.

Act II, Scene i

  • A fairy to Puck:

  • Over hill, over dale, Thorough bush, thorough brier, Over park, over pale, Thorough flood, thorough fire, I do wander everywhere, Swifter than the moon's sphere (II, i)

  • Helena replies to Demetrius:

  • Your virtue is my privilege: for that It is not night when I do see your face, Therefore I think I am not in the night; Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company, For you in my respect are all the world: Then how can it be said I am alone, When all the world is here to look on me?

  • Helena:

  • Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field, You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex: We cannot fight for love, as men may do; We should be wood and were not made to woo.

Act II, Scene ii

  • Oberon anoints Titania's eye with the love juice.

  • Lysander and Hermia enter and sleep separately.

  • Puck enters and anoints the eyes of Lysander wearing “Athenian garments.”

  • Puck leaves

  • Demetrius arrives with Helena in fast pursuit.

  • Helena awakens Lysander.

  • Lysander immediately falls in love with Helena, but she is convinced he is mocking her.

  • Lysander sees Hermia but does not love her any more.

  • Hermia awakens from a nightmare.

Act III, Scene i

  • The craftsmen meet in the wood to rehearse their play.

  • The moonlight and the Wall

  • Puck replaces Bottom’s head with that of an ass.

  • Bottom, frightened, sings to keep up his courage.

  • Bottom’s song wakes up Titania.

  • Titania falls in love with Bottom.

Act III, Scene ii

  • Hermia and Demetrius enter.

  • Oberon finds that Puck has mistakenly placed the love juice in Lysander’s eye, not Demetrius’.

  • DemetriusHermia

  • Demetrius sleeps. Hermia leaves.

  • Oberon anoints Demetrius’ eyes.

  • Puck needs to look for Helena.

Act III, Scene ii

  • Helena appears pursued by the wooing Lysander.

  • Demetrius falls in love with Helena.

  • Helena thinks Hermia is the third party to mock her.

  • Puck entices Lysander and Demetrius into sleep by tricking them.

  • Puck creeps in, re-anoints Lysander’s eye, and leaves.

Act IV, Scene i

  • Oberon orders Puck to take the ass’s head from Bottom.

  • Puck complies as Titania causes Bottom, Helena, Hermia, Demetrius, and Lysander to fall far more deeply asleep than they already are.

  • Theseus, Hippolyta, and Egeus order Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius to join them at the temple.

Act IV, Scene I dreams and dreaming

  • Bottom:

  • I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play (IV, i)

Act IV, Scene ii

  • Snug arrives to tell the craftsmen that two other couples are also being married that night and, were they performing, they would have made their fortunes.

  • Q:

  • What are the other couples?

  • A:

  • Hermia and Lysander

  • Helena and Demetrius

Act V, Scene i

  • a fantasy

  • The craftsmen present their play much to the delight of their audience.

  • Oberon, Titania, and the fairies take over the night intending to sing and dance until daybreak.


  • Theseus:

  • More strange than true: I never may believe

  • These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. ……

  • The lunatic, the lover and the poet

  • Are of imagination all compact:

  • Wall:

  • Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;

  • And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.

  • [Exit.]

  • Lion:

  • You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear

  • The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,

  • May now perchance both quake and tremble here,

  • When lion rough in widest rage doth roar.

  • [Roaring.] Oh--

  • Moon:

  • This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;

  • Myself the man i’ th’ moon do seem to be.

  • All that I have to say is to tell you that the lanthorn is the moon, I, the manin the moon, this thorn-bush my thorn-bush, and this dog my dog.

  • Theseus:

  • Such tricks hath strong imagination, That, if it would but apprehend some joy, It comprehends some bringer of that joy; Or in the night, imagining some fear, How easy is a bush supposed a bear? (V, i)

  • Puck:

  • If we shadows have offended, Think but this,--and all is mended,-- That you have but slumber'd here While these visions did appear. (V, i)

Q & A

  • What are the 4 separate plots?

  • What are the 4 groups of characters?

Questions for Assignment 2

  • 1.

  • Draw a plot map for A Midsummer Night’s Dream to indicate 4 groups of characters and the relationship among them.

  • 2.

  • If you have a chance to play a part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which character would you like to play? Why? Please refer to the lines from the play to support your argument.

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