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Performance Review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay Sample

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Performance Review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay Sample

This movie production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream was produced and directed by Kevin Kline in 1999?. As far as play to movie adaptations go this one was successful in the fact that it didn’t lose much in translation. Though it did cut out some of Shakespeare’s words it refrained from rearranging too much of the scene order and thus succeeded in not detracting from the true spirit of his play. The themes and symbolism manage to remain intact throughout the entirety of the play.

Also, though this version of the play was set in the early nineteenth century as opposed to ancient Athenian times, none of the meanings and circumstances seem out of place or irrelevant. Though the theme of lovers running away to be together is as timeless as they come. The lovers are running away in stifling dresses and pants and vest as opposed to togas and robes, yet they are still just trying to escape the controlling father that would keep them apart. As you watch the scenes unfold on the screen you would be hard pressed to point out anything that was missing.

Though the director did cut a few things from the words of the play it is not anything substantial enough to notice and all of the speeches that were taken from manage to retain their meaning and context in the rest of the scene. As far as any rearrangements in the scene order, there is only one tiny one in the beginning of the play that manages to escape affecting the play at all. All in all any changes that were made to the play were minuscule and probably mostly for length reasons.

Otherwise there is nothing that would make this movie version of the play unrecognizable as Shakespeare’s work. When reading Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I imagined it to take place in ancient Greece during the time of the Gods. The names and settings, along with the fantasy element of having fairies in major roles give it a mythical element that likens it to stories about the Greek gods, especially the all important flower whose juice is used to create the chaos that ensues throughout the night.

In this production however, being set in the early nineteenth century, there is less of a fantastical element to the human side of the play. And as a result also it plays into the dream aspect of the night in the forest, when it is compared to the now more modern love story of Lysander and Hermia, and Helena and Demetrius. Also playing a part in distinguishing the fateful night from the rest of the play is the fact that though the humans are clothed in typical early nineteenth century clothing the fairies are dressed in the ancient Athenian garments that they all should have donned in the original play.

Overall, this modern movie version of the Shakespeare play A Midsummer Nights Dream is a good adaptation of the comedy play. In watching it you are getting everything that Shakespeare might have intended you to in seeing his play. It is a wonderful supplement to someone reading the play as well because you are not denied anything thing that might change what you should take away from the play itself. It is a good visual compliment to the written word.

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