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FredCDobbs

?A Midsummer?s Night Dream?... good movie

2 posts in this topic

I saw part of this on TCM yesterday, and I wanted to tell everyone that it helps to watch the movie while reading along with the original Shakespeare play.

 

Just by chance, several years ago, the movie came on TCM when I had my big Shakespeare book sitting on my desk, so I grabbed the book and I looked up the play, and I followed along with the movie.

 

Many of the words in the film are difficult to hear clearly and difficult to understand their meaning, since this is obsolete English from the Elizabethan era. But with the play in hand, one can look down at the text and follow along and see what the words actually are, and they are much easier to understand.

 

The film is NOT the full play, so I had to quickly jump forward in the book when some of the scenes changed. But the words are the same as in the play.

 

Basically the film has four different stories. The woodland fairies, the four lovers, the traveling play group, and the Duke of Athens and other big-city people.

 

The fairies section is based on old folk tales of England, much like our ?UFO? and ?alien visitation? tales of today. These are imaginary characters who live in the woods and who only ?come out at night?, while all humans are asleep.

 

The four lovers is about two men being in love with two girls, but the girls are in love with the opposite two men, so there is some strife and arguing among the four of them.

 

The traveling play group is trying to make money by traveling around and putting on a comedy play.

 

The Duke of Athens and his people in the city turn up later and they watch the play.

 

(I hope I remember all this correctly.)

 

Some of the lines are very interesting and clever. Some are funny. Such as, ?Who will not change a raven for a dove?? Well, I don?t know about everyone else, but I?d certainly change a raven for a dove. :)

 

And look at these two lines:

 

HERMIA

?I would my father look'd but with my eyes.?

 

(I.E. I wish my father would look at the situation from my point of view.)

 

THESEUS

?Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.?

 

(I.E. You must look again and use your father?s good mature judgment.)

 

That?s a profound and wise statement to make to a young lady.

 

I don?t mean to imply that the entire film is completely understandable if you have the text of the play in front of you. But some of it is understandable if you do have the text. :)

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026714/

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