Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

What a wonderful closing to the Once Upon A Time challenge. When I opened the first pages of this play, a smile came across my face as I rediscovered the beauty of Shakespeare's language. I hadn't read any of his work in years. A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of my favorites of his and is a piece of literature that just exudes magic.

When I think of Shakespeare, I think of his use of language and his gift with words. I forget how skilled he was at coming up with fantastic stories and characters though. What a wonderful comedy this was! Who else could come up with the queen of the fairies falling in love with a mortal with an asses face! Genius! I would've loved to see his plays performed for the first time on stage. That must have been a fantastic experience.

So many classic moments in this play. Puck is one of my favorite dramatic characters ever created, and his line "Lord, what fools these mortals be" is one of my favorite lines. It sums up my feelings on life at times. If we were to step back and look at certain situations, surely they would seem almost comical at times. One of my favorite scenes in this play is when Demetrius awakes after being "anointed" by Puck and has joined Lysander in falling in love with Helena and Helena responds with "O spite! O hell! I see you are all bent to set against me for your merriment." It gave me a good laugh.

Like I said before, a perfect, magical wrap up to a perfect, magical challenge. I've enjoyed this experience and with two days left, I think I'll still be able to fit in John Connoly's The Book of Lost Things!

And one more thing. Like I haven't plugged it enough, BUT...if you enjoyed this play, may I highly recommend Orson Scott Card's Magic Street which is a fantastic urban fantasy where you will find some of these same fantastic characters in a modern setting including Puck and Titania. Signed copies can be found on his website for $8.99.

I leave you with Puck's famous last words:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck,
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long-
Else the Puck a liar call.
So good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.


Rhinoa said...

I need to read this. I recently read Othello and hope to read Hamlet soon as well. I am seeing this outdoors at Regents Park in London on Friday which I am looking forward to. It's part of a hen night so we all have to wear fairy wings :)

Looking forward to reading your review on Book of Lost Things. It's on my TBR pile but not too near the top yet.

DesLily said...

The Book of Lost Things is a pretty fast read.. probably VERY FAST the way you go thru books! lol I think you'll like it.

Chris said...

Oh that's so cool Rhinoa! I've always wanted to see an outdoor showing of A Midsummer Night's Dream...enjoy! I'm only 20 pages into Book of Lost Things and it's amazing already.

Deslily, I'm loving it already and I'm only 20 pages into it! I can tell I'll love this one.

Carl V. said...

Now that I've finished Season of the Witch I am going to read my recent gift of the Arthur Rackham illustrated Midsummer Night's Dream to wrap up my challenge experience. It is a great play. If you ever get a chance to see it acted out I highly recommend it. It is wonderful.

Nymeth said...

You'd recommended Magic Street a while ago, so I was already thinking of picking it for Joy's Seconds challenge... after Enchantment, I really want to read more Orson Scott Card.

I didn't remember that it had to do with "A Midsummer Night's Dream", though - I am SO getting it now! The only remaining question is if I'll be able to wait for the challenge to begin in September to read it!

Stephanie said...

I haven't read any Shakespeare since high school! I was going to read this to end the challenge, but alas....no time!

I have The Book of Lost Things on my TBR. Can't wait to see your review!

Booklogged said...

Love the funny cover! You are just booking right along, aren't you. Way to go.

Chris said...

Carl, Arthur Rackham illustrated version?! I knew he did illustrations for it, but I didn't know there was a whole published version out there with his illustrations. Awesome! I'll have to get that!

Nymeth, I highly recommend that one. For some reason I always pair that one with Enchantment...I guess because those are his 2 main fantasy novels aside from Hart's Hope which is a very traditional fantasy. Anyway, it's one of my favorites of his. I loved it! I hope you do to.

Stephanie, You'll LOVE The Book of Lost Things. About 100 pages into it now and it's just amazing. I can't believe I had never heard of this guy before. What a great writer! You should fit this one in soon. It would fit into Carl's RIP challenge if you do that one!

Hey Booklogged! I actually picked this one because of the cover :p I was at B&N and they had a bajillion versions of this book so I just got the one with the donkey's ass on the cover!

Bookfool said...

I need to get around to reading this one, too. I'm envious of Rhinoa. How utterly cool! Love the short quote, in particular.

The Book of Lost Things is on my wish list. Can't wait to read your thoughts.

Chris said...

Bookfool, I think alot of people are envious of Rhinoa's planned outing ;)

The Book of Lost Things is great! Totally throwing me for a loop. Better than anything I expected!