A Midsummer Nights Dream Essay Sample
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A Midsummer Nights Dream Essay Sample
This is to be written after the first performance in the form of a newspaper article. It can be set in either modern-day, or Elizabethan times. Include: –
> A flavour of the appropriate time.
> Comments on the fact that the queen was at this performance.
> Comments on what the set looked like.
> Favourite Scene.
> Pick actors and & compliment/ comment on their performance.
> Audience Reaction
The curtains open with a big shell-like structure, covered in leaves and ivy, to give a platform to be used by the fairies. This platform can mechanically move up and down and can leave the set, for the parts of the scene that are only featuring the humans. There is subtle lighting, with blue, pink and purple shades, dimly lighting the stage and big trees painted on the backdrop, and fake trees on the stage. The performance starts with Oberon on top of the platform, the platform is slowly moving down, into view, from above the stage. Oberon is wearing a dark green cloak and dark clothes underneath, this gives an effect of mystery and shows that he isn’t a human, he also looks very powerful. A bright white beam of light highlights the whole platform, as it is slowly moving down Oberon says his first line.
” I wonder if Titania be awak’d;
Here comes my messenger.”
The platform has finally reached the lowest point it can, to allow puck to step on, and join Oberon. Puck enters from the right hand side of the stage, he is very small and has a cheeky but mischievous look on his face. He is wearing scruffy, multi-coloured clothes, which shows that he isn’t human, but also shows that he isn’t powerful and is inferior to Oberon. Hermia steps onto the platform, next to Oberon, and smiles at him in a way that shows he has done something to please Oberon. Puck says,
“My mistress with a monster is in love…
… Titania wak’d, and straightway lov’d an ass.”
Then Oberon says,
” This falls out better than I could devise!
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
The platform starts to rise; this is because Demetrius and Hermia are about to enter. The platform separates the mortal world from the fairies world; it shows a definite difference in levels. Hermia is wearing a white dress, which by now is dirty at the bottom, from running through the woods. Demetrius is wearing black trousers with a white shirt and a black waistcoat. The waistcoat has a long tear in it, where he has caught it on tree branches as he was walking through the woods. As they enter, a dim light highlights the couple, who look like they are arguing. The audience cannot hear this arguing, though, because Oberon and Puck are still talking and are targeted by the lights and microphones.
“Stand close: this is the same Athenian.”
“This is the woman; but not this the man.”
In disbelief Oberon grabs Puck and starts shaking him, the lights dim on this couple, their microphones turn off and the platform moves to the highest point on stage, while remaining in view. The lights get brighter on Demetrius and Hermia and their microphones are turned on. Demetrius says,
“Oberon why rebuke him that loves you so?
So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.”
While the lights were dim on Oberon and Puck, wires are attached to give the appearance of them flying. The wire come into use later on in the scene, but this is the only point that they are in darkness, before they need to be used. The lighting then stays the same for the next few lines of the script, until the platform with Oberon and Puck on, comes back down into full view, and the lights brighten on it. Oberon and Puck are still talking, as the microphones are turned on again. Hermia and Demetrius’ microphones are turned off as they lay down on the left hand side of the stage, leaving enough room for the platform to come down to the lowest point, onto the stage. Oberon says,
“What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite…
…Swifter than arrows from the tartar’s bow.”
Puck leaps from the platform and ‘flies’ off of the right hand side of the stage, leaving Oberon by himself on the platform. After a while Oberon pulls a purple flower head from the front of the platform and keeps it in his hand, then he too flies from the stage, and lands next to Demetrius, who is laid asleep on the floor.
” Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with cupid’s archery,
Sink in apple of his eye.”
As soon as Oberon has said the last sentence, the lights go off, Demetrius is taken from the stage (out of sight) and a giant eye is lowered down to hang just in front of the backdrop. This represents Demetrius’ eye, which Oberon will pour the love juice in. While the lights are down, the small flower that Oberon is holding grows to the size of his fist, and this is used to juice the eye. The lights come back on and you see Oberon in the bottom right of the stage ready to throw the flower.
Oberon says the few final words in his script and then throws the flower at the eye. At this point strobe lights are turned on, and loud crashes of thunder sound, this give the effect that something major has just happened. Then, the audience sees Oberon disappear down into the stage, and after even more rumbling of thunder, there is one final bang of a giant gong. The stage lights come back on, and there is only Demetrius left on the stage, still sleeping, unaware of what has just happened, also, the platform has come back into place. Oberon is standing on the platform, looking very pleased with him-self.
“When his love he doth espy,
Beg her for remedy.”
At this point, Puck flies back onto the stage, and lands on the platform joining Oberon.
“Captain of our fairy band…
… Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
Lysander and Helena enter from the right hand side of the stage and are having an argument. The lights fade on Oberon and Puck leaving only Demetrius, Lysander and Helena in view. The couple keep arguing, but not waking Demetrius from his sleep.
“Why should you think that I should woo in scorn …
… Demetrius loves her, and he loves you not.”
Demetrius starts to stir, looking at Helena he suddenly falls deeply in love with her, under the spell of the love juice. He kneels on one knee and declares his love for Helena.
“O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine…
Look where thy love comes : yonder is thy dear.”
Hermia enters from the left hand side of the stage, looking scared, and happy to find the rest of the group, until she realises that her lover is blurting his true feelings out for the woman who has been in love with him for years.
Once hearing this, Hermia starts arguing with Helena thinking that she ‘stole her man on purpose. The two start to argue.
“You speak not as you think : it cannot be.”
To make the next part of this scene more affective, and to show how much anger is involved, Hermia is slapped by Helena and then pushed off of the front of the stage, landing into what seems like a pond or pool of water. This is only an effect, and Hermia actually falls onto a soft, spongy surface, then a stagehand throws a bucket of water upwards, so that it looks like she has fallen a long way down, then landed into a pond. Once the group have left the stage, Hermia enters from the opposite side of the stage, soaking wet, and then wanders through the woods looking for the rest of the group.
The rest of the group then walk on stage to find Hermia, this is to keep the play flowing and to make the time it takes for Hermia to be wet and to walk from in-front of the stage, back onto the main stage look natural. Once back on the stage Hermia is very angry that Helena pushing her into the water, so she starts trying to push her way past Lysander and Demetrius, to get to her. Lysander and Demetrius won’t allow her to pass, because they know that she will attack Helena. They do this while saying their lines, to take away the boringness of just standing on the stage talking.
The platform is once again lowered, with Oberon standing on it, soon joined by puck, who flies in from the left hand side of the stage. The lights dim on the group, whilst they are on the last line of theirs, and the lights brightens on the platform.
“Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook …
… As this their jangling I esteem a sport”
While Oberon stays on the platform throughout the scene, Puck fly’s on and off the platform, to again take away the boringness of just standing. Lysander enters, looking for Demetrius.
“Where art thou, proud Demetrius?”
Lysander then storms off into the woods, still looking for Demetrius. Unknown to Lysander, Demetrius is also looking for him, and they finally bump into each other while on the stage. To add a bit of weariness and to show the woods are frightening to the scene, Lysander walks backwards from offstage to the centre of the stage, so too does Demetrius, but from the other side of the stage. The two finally meet in the middle and bump into each other, jumping after the fright.
“Nay then, thou mock’st me!”
Helena and Hermia then enter to find Lysander and Demetrius arguing, Puck is still on set, along with Oberon, on top of the platform. The light fades on the group and Oberon, just leaving a light on Puck, dangling in mid air on cables. Puck finally says his final lines, before the lights dim and a bright flash of lightening lights the whole stage for a short period of time and a loud crash of thunder sounds. The scenery is then quickly changed ready for the next scene, while the audience are applauding.