21 May 2008

This weak and idle theme - Midsummer Post #5

This is the 5th and final posting for A Midsummer Night's Dream and is due before class starts on Friday, May 23.

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare presents us with an unusual and fantastic series of events as fairies and mortals mix in the mysterious woods just outside Athens. The four lovers and the mechanicals each undergo their own experience with the fairy world. However, different characters provide varying takes on the night's strange happenings. Consider the following three reactions/explanations by different characters:

  • Nick Bottom awakes from his dream, his "most rare vision," and offers one explanation at the end of Act IV, scene 1.
  • At the beginning Act V, Duke Theseus explains to Hippolyta what he thinks of the situation in the woods.
  • And finally, Puck re-appears with his own suggestion for the audience in the closing lines of Act V.

Of the three reactions/explanations, choose one that you believe the most significant or closest to how you might try to explain what happened in the woods. Whom do you believe the most? Bottom, Theseus, or Puck? Why? Point to specific lines from the play to help make your point.

13 May 2008

What are these people like? - Midsummer post #4

This is the fourth Midsummer post and is due before class starts on Thursday, May 15.

Shakespeare created numerous memorable characters, who exhibit the human traits that people still have today. A Midsummer Night's Dream is no different. In this play, there are both human characters (mortals) and fairies, and all of them are unique.

Choose one of the characters we've met so far and describe what makes them unique. As part of your answer, choose a line or two of dialogue that the character speaks and use it to help explain that character's personality. Think of descriptive words and phrases to help illustrate just what kind of personality traits your chosen character has. Choose some lines of dialogue that accurately and clearly illustrate his or her personality.

Remember, when you cite dialoge from the play, follow this format: "Full of vexation come I, with complaint/Against my child, my daughter Hermia." (Act I, sc.1, lines 22- 23)

Good luck...

07 May 2008

Could you be a fairy? - Midsummer post #3

At the beginning of Act II, we get a glimpse of the kind of powers and duties the fairies have in the world of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Both Puck and and the unnamed fairy at the beginning of Act II describe ways that they interact with and affect the humans in the world.

What would you do if you were a fairy?

Go back to the beginning of Act II and re-read the exchanges between the fairies, including Puck. If these fairies existed in our world today, which power or duty do you find would have the most impact on the world? If you were a fairy how would you use one of the powers described to change something in our world today?

In your answer, make sure you clearly identify one of the powers or duties the fairies have (as described in the play). Make sure you clearly state where in the play the power or duty is described. Then imagine how that power or duty could be used today.

To help you, I posted the first comment which contains one way to start your response. You can use it as a model.

04 May 2008

Shakespeare and comedy - Midsummer post #2

This is the second Midsummer post and is due before class starts on Tuesday, May 6.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy, which is something that today's television viewers should know a little something about.According to Scholastic Scope magazine, Shakespeare wrote about three kinds of classic mix-ups: 1) mistaken identity, 2) love triangles, and 3) strange coincidences. Each of these classic mix-ups are staples on 21st Century sitcoms. The next time you watch your favorite sitcom or re-run, look for one of those classic mix-ups involving the characters.For your assignment, select one (1) of the classic mix-ups from above and find an example of it from a popular sitcom you watch. First, describe the mix-up from the sitcom, and then explain how the humor of the mixed-up situation helps increase your enjoyment and appreciation of the show. What makes it funny?

As with all of these assignments, it is a good practice to write your response in a word processing program like Microsoft Word so you can better edit and proofread your entry before submitting it. It also makes sense to save a copy of your response in case you have problems posting.