Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Shakespeare 2009

Some good clean fun. And if you are in the business of advertising there is a lot to learn here from the craftsmen of Athens staging a play:  

Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;” (Shakespeare, 2009, p.279).

The actors always are scared of scaring the audience and therefore want to explain themselves in every little detail:

Not a whit: I have a device to make all well.
Write me a prologue, and let the prologue seem
To say we will do no harm with our swords, and
That Pyramus is not kill’d indeed; and, for the
More better assurance, tell them that I Pyramus
Am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: this
will put them out of fear.” (Shakespeare, 2009, p.287).

Therefore another prologue must tell he is not
a lion.
Nay, you must name his name, and half his face
Must be seen through the lion’s neck; and he
Himself must speak, through, saying thus, or to
The same defect, - ‘Ladies’ – or, ‘Fair ladies, -
I would wish you,’ – or, ‘I would request you,’
- Or. ‘I would entreat you, - not to fear, not to
tremble: my life for yours. If you think I come
hither as a lion, it were pity of my life: no, I am
no such thing; I am a man as other men are:’ –
and there, indeed, let him name his name, and
tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.” (Shakespeare, 2009, p.287).

Fairy kind, attend, and mark:
I do hear the morning lark.
Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night’s shade:
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.
Come, my lord, and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground.” (Shakespeare, 2009, p.295).

More strange than true: I never may believe
These antick fables nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact: -
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, -
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them into shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!
But all the story of the night turned over,
And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than fancy’s images,
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.” (Shakespeare, 2009, p.297).
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended, -
That you have but slumber’d here,
While these visions did appear.
And this weal and idel theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:

If you pardon, we will mend.” (Shakespeare, 2009, p.301).

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