Unreality in A Midsummer Night's Dream

1693 WordsJul 11, 20187 Pages
Unreality in A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that encompasses three worlds: the romantic world of the aristocratic lovers, the workday world of the rude mechanicals, and the fairy world of Titania and Oberon. And while all three worlds tangle and intertwine during the course of the play, it is the fairy world that has the greatest impact, for both the lovers and the mechanicals are changed by their brush with the "children of Pan." For those whose job it is to bring these worlds to life in the theatre -- directors, designers, actors -- the first questions that must be answered are: just what do the fairies look like, and how is their world different from ours? As our world has grown…show more content…
This was a circus Dream. Brook's production cause enormous controversy and released an extraordinary amount of energy in the theatre world. His was a new interpretation of a play that had come to seem a fusty old Victorian Christmas card. Imaginations were piqued and creativity unleashed. This process had actually already begun several years earlier, with the publication of a book by Eastern European critic Jan Kott called Shakespeare Our Contemporary. By the second sentence of his essay on A Midsummer Night's Dream, Kott dynamited the traditions of the past century. "Puck," Kott noted bluntly,"is simply one of the names for the devil." Rejecting the image of Puck as "just a playful dwarf from a German fairy tale, or even a poetic gremlin in the fashion of a romantic feéerie," he asserted Puck's "twofold nature... that of Robin Goodfellow and that of the menacing devil Hobgoblin." Kott went on to insist that A Midsummer Night's Dream "is the most erotic of Shakespeare's plays," -- an idea almost unheard of until then -- and that it was a play that was "truthful, brutal, and violent..." The Dream had become part nightmare. This was an image for the 20th century, one where the fairy world was no longer an ideal projection of the lover's romantic fantasies, but rather the dark alter ego of the daytime world, Mr. Hyde to the lovers' Dr. Jekyll. Soon other productions arose which explored the fairy world as the

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