Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare vs. Michael Hoffman Essay

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Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare vs. Michael Hoffman

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and frequently performed comical plays (Berardinelli). The play transformed into a cinematic production by Michael Hoffman has not changed in its basic plot and dialogue, but the setting and some character traits have. The play setting has been gracefully moved from 16th century Greece to 19th century Tuscany (Berardinelli). The addition of bicycles to the play affects the characters in that they no longer have to chase each other around the woods, but can take chase in a more efficient fashion. As far as characters are concerned, Demetrius is no longer the smug and somewhat rude character we find in act 1, scene 1
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I’ll be an auditor; an actor perhaps, if I see cause” (Shakespeare). He begins by asking himself why these common people are so near to Titania, when he sees that they are preparing a play, he decides to watch, and maybe cause some trouble too. Turns out he does cause some trouble, by turning the head of Bottom into the head of an ass, the interesting thing is that Bottom does not realize that he has changed. Puck does this to frighten the other players, and it conveniently turns out to be the object of Titania’s obsession. This could be by Puck’s design because he gets the pleasure of seeing the players frightened and accomplishes the task of awaking Titania when some beast is nearby.

In the movie version of A Midsummer Nights Dream, Puck has a more overt sense of humor. Although the dialogue is purely Shakespeare, the actions and direction of Puck’s character bring a new perspective to the story. When we are first introduced to Puck in the tree, he plays some jokes, such as vanishing, and turning up in a goblet of wine. He is speaking the same lines as in the play, but the addition of visual humor adds to the appeal of the original play. One is again exposed to this when Oberon and Puck discuss the flower while lying in the forest. Puck imitates Oberon’s position, adjusting himself in a friendly mocking manner towards his master. One also gets the impression from Puck’s body language that, although he

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