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  • A midsummer night's dream: pronouns

    Shakespeare and his contemporaries had one extra pronoun, \"thou,\" which could be used in addressing a person who was one\'s equal or social inferior. \"You\" was obligatory if more than one person was addressed, so \"you\" is used when Puck addresses the audience: Think but this, and all is mended: That you have but slumbered here, (V, i, 414-15) but it could also be used to indicate respect. Lysander and Hermia show their respect for ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: prepositions

    Prepositions were less standardized in Elizabethan English than they are today and so we find several uses in A Midsummer Night\'s Dream that would have to be modified in contemporary speech. Among these are \"in\" for \"on\": Or in the beached margent of the sea, (II, i, 85) \"upon\" for \"by\": To die upon the hand I love so well. (II, i, 244) \"on\" for \"of\": More fond on her than she upon her love: (II, i, 266) \"a ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: multiple negation

    Contemporary English requires only one negative per statement and regards such utterances as \"I haven\'t none\" as nonstandard. However, Shakespeare often used two or more negatives for emphasis, as when Helena chides Lysander: Is\'t not enough, is\'t not enough, young man, That I did never--no, nor never can- Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius\' eye, (II, ii, 131ff) and Bottom agrees with Titania: Not so neither; (III, i, 141) ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: point of view

    Though a playwright does not generally have an all-seeing or subjective voice to speak from, he does have characters to represent various points of view. But can you always tell what Shakespeare himself feels about things in A Midsummer Night\'s Dream? Do his characters speak for him? Or do you feel that he sometimes disappears behind his characters, making the reader decide what to feel about the issues? Theseus is the voice for reason, for ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: form and structure

    Though Shakespeare\'s plays are now divided for us into acts and scenes, these are very likely the work of later editors. We do not really know where Shakespeare\'s players made their pauses. The Elizabethan stage was so bare and fluid that it wasn\'t necessary to stop frequently for scene or costume changes, as it is today. It\'s more interesting to look at the play itself to get a sense of form and structure. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT\'S DREAM: TH ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: sources

    As with most of his plays, Shakespeare drew on many different sources to help shape A Midsummer Night\'s Dream. There does not seem to be an earlier plot that he incorporated--rather, a series of myths and tales that he drew from to create his own work. But most of our understanding of Shakespearean sources is like detective work: we piece together similarities but we have no direct testimony. Sir Thomas North\'s translation of Plutarch\'s L ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: the globe theatre

    One of the most famous theaters of all time is the Globe Theatre. It was one of several Shakespeare worked in during his career, and many of the greatest plays of English literature were performed there. Built in 1599 for L600 just across the River Thames from London, it burned down in 1613 when a spark from one of the cannons in a battle scene in Shakespeare\'s Henry VIII set fire to the thatched roof. The theater was quickly rebuilt and survi ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: lines 1-127

    The scene is the palace of Theseus, duke of Athens. He is preparing to wed Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, a famous tribe of women warriors. She had earlier been taken captive by Theseus. They are both legendary figures, and their speeches and actions have a kind of formality. But like any husband-to-be, Theseus is anxious for the wedding day, which will be marked by a new moon. It is still five days away, and Theseus complains about how slowl ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: lines 128-251

    The two frustrated lovers try to comfort each other. They speak in a poetic, almost courtly manner, trading clever lines and poetic imagery back and forth. The style reflects the content here. They speak the way conventional romantic characters do. But how appropriate is that to their current situation, dangerous and distressing as it is? Does their reliance on stock romantic speech get in the way of their real feelings, instead of express them ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: act i, scene ii

    We are now in another part of Athens, in the house of Quince, a carpenter. He and his comrades--Snug, a joiner; Bottom, a weaver; Flute, a bellows mender; Snout, a tinker; and Starveling, a tailor--have gathered together to choose the parts in a play they\'ll be performing for the duke\'s wedding. They\'re a group of simple working people, not professional actors, and they\'re also a far cry from any traditional image of noble Athenian youth. ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: lines 1-59

    In a wood near Athens, the very same one mentioned in the previous act, two fairies appear. Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, asks the other sprite what she\'s up to. The fairy explains her activities. She wanders throughout the countryside, swifter than the moon, as an attendant of the fairy queen, Titania. Her mission at the moment is to place dew on the flowers. The cowslips (a yellow wildflower) are the queen\'s personal bodyguards, and ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: lines 60-187

    The chatter between Puck and the fairy is ended by the sudden appearance of Oberon at one end of the stage and Titania at the other. The mood, as suggested by Puck, is dark and angry. \"Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania\" is Oberon\'s welcome. The moon\'s light, which is generally their natural accustomed light, has turned sour. This king and queen are in a mutual rage--his, a jealous one, as Titania points out. She is ready to leave immediat ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: lines 188-268

    Approaching voices are heard. Oberon makes himself invisible as Demetrius and Helena enter. They are in the midst of a quarrel. Remember, Helena had told Demetrius of Lysander and Hermia\'s elopement plan. But he\'s interested in finding them, not in dealing with Helena. He\'ll kill the man; the woman is killing him. He commands Helena to go away; he is \"wood\" (mad) in the wood. But how can Helena go? She is drawn to him as though he were a m ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: characterization

    In A Midsummer Night\'s Dream, then, Shakespeare defines his characters according to what they represent, according to their labels. The lovers are not individuals, they are \"lovers,\" and the definition of that word will determine their behaviour; Puck\'s actions too are predicated by the definition of \"Puck.\" Nor is the process restricted to characters; even places stand for something, are labels. Athens, established in literary tradition ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: the end of the play

    If ever the son of man in his wanderings was at home and drinking by the fireside, he is at home in the house of Theseus. All the dreams have been forgotten, as a melancholy dream remembered throughout the morning might be forgotten in the human certainty of any other triumphant evening party; and so the play seems naturally ended. It began on the earth and it ends on the earth. Thus to round off the whole midsummer night\'s dream in an eclip ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: shakespeare's poetic speeches

    No, his heart was in these passages of verse, and so the heart of the play is in them. And the secret of the play--the refutation of all doctrinaire criticism of it--lies in the fact that though they may offend against every letter of dramatic law they fulfil the inmost spirit of it, inasmuch as they are dramatic in themselves. They are instinct with that excitement, that spontaneity, that sense of emotional overflow which is drama. They are as ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: bottom's vision

    By contrast \"vision,\" as it is introduced into the play, is a code word for the dream understood, the dream correctly valued. Often the user does not know that he knows; this is another of the play\'s thematic patterns, supporting the elevation of the irrational above the merely rational. As a device it is related to a character type always present in Shakespeare, but more highly refined in the later plays, that of the wise fool. Thus Bottom, ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: the fairies

    What is true of the moon applies to the fairies. They are a curious mixture of wood spirits and household gods, pagan deities and local pixies. They inhabit the environs of Athens and follow the fortunes of Theseus and Hippolyta, but they are clearly the spirits whom we can consider \"almost essential to a Midsummer Play,\" detectably English in character and habit. Through Titania and her train, Shakespeare emphasizes their innocence and delic ...


  • A midsummer night's dream: the comedy of language

    The Dream\'s comedy of language attains its peak of extravagance in \"Pyramus.\" One favourite effect is continued from the play proper: the misassignment of sense-experience--Pyramus sees a voice, hopes to hear his Thisby\'s face, and bids his tongue lose its light. In the rehearsal-scene he is supposed to have gone \"but to see a noise that he heard,\" and the effect has been taken to its highest point in Bottom\'s garbling of St. Paul: \"The ...


  • Linux

    Preface: Operating Systems (OSes) are very complex programs that act as an intermediary between the user and the computer. Modern operating systems include a lot of features, so it is nearly impossible for one person to understand all aspects of an operating system. Most users only need their computer for doing their daily tasks like word processing or surfing on the web. They just want to be given an easy interface to their computer. However, ...



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