Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Okay, so Shakespeare. Scary. Which is why we opted for a comedy, instead of troubled Danish princes or such. But still, I have to admit being somewhat cautious starting this, as the language is a bit intimidating.

As it turns out, once you got used to it, however, it's fairly okay. I mean, they talk and talk and talk, but there is a certain beauty in their eloquence. After all, it's Shakespeare.

As for the story, well... it's a flimsy comedy. I don't know if any great analysis can be drawn upon it, it's just for a laugh. My favorite bits? The comments Theseus et al did during the play put together by the craftsmen. Cracked me up!

My copy of the book had these fancy explanatory notes and little introductions in it as well. About how this play is of the "mysterious images of romantic desire". I don't know... can't we just take it such as it is? A funny little piece that kept us entertained for few hours? A late 1500's version of a Meg Ryan movie?


I was pleasantly surprised about this one. I was not very excited to get started but ended up reading the whole thing in almost one sitting. And no, not really because it was so good but because it was quite short... Anyways, I did find the language beautiful, very old fashioned of course but I'm always been drawn to historic films and novels due to the eloquence and cordiality of speech.

The story itself. Well, I have to say there's more potential to even more comedy than Shakespeare got out if. Really, all the mix ups with identities and who loves who were righted before the characters really had time to mess up their lives. How boring. I would've thought that the bit when everyone's under the lovespell would've lasted a lot longer since it is the whole point of the play. Instead the random parts of the craftmens play took up most of it. But yea, the best comedic action were definitely the random comments!

In it's defence I have to say, it's old. It was written very long ago and the times have changed. It might not be that entertaining if put on the stage now as it is but I'm convinced that back then it was a funny play and did its bit in entertaining the masses. So well done Shakespeare, you're not as boring as I thought!


I wonder, though, if this has been made into a modern movie, like so many other Shakespeare comedies. You know, The Taming of the Shrew (The 10 Things I Hate About You with amazing Heath Ledger) or Twelfth Night (with sexy Channing Tatum as Duke Orsino in She's the Man). I mean, surely this one has potential for an update, no??

I feel like this almost counts for the 5 points in The 4 Months Challenge under category "read a chick lit book", but we're going to go with the 15 points for "read any book but read it outdoors" as that's what we did with this one.

1 comment:

  1. I think there are a lot of movies with influences from this play. To name a few, there's Love Potion No. 9 with Sandra Bullock where people drink love potion and get mixed up about who they are really in love with. And of course the horrid teen comedy Get over it! where the main characters are also involved in a play called A Midsummer Night's Rockin' Eve and fight for their love interests both off stage and on stage. True classics in the making.