W. Shakespear's "Midsummer Night's Dream"

» W. Shakespear's "Midsummer Night's Dream"




The English and Literature department

Sufieva Zamiras qualification work on speciality 5220100 English philology on theme:

The Theme: W. Shakespeares comedy A Midsummer Nights Dream

Supervisor: Tojiev Kh.



I Introduction

1.1. General aims and purposes of the qualification work

2.1. Some words about William Shakespeare and his play A Midsummer Nights Dream

3.1. Critical estimation of the play.

II Main Part.

1.2. Chapter 1. Compositional Structure of the play and its scene-by-scene analysis.

1.1.2. The idea and composition of the play

2.1.2. The introductory significance of the first act

3.1.2. Depicting of opposition and controversy of humans standing

4.1.2. Theme of love and its interpretation in the third act

5.1.2. The approaching of climax

6.1.2. The Post-climax of the comedy

2.2. Chapter 2. The brilliant majesty of the Shakespearean language.

1.2.2. The language of William Shakespeare

2.2.2. Verse forms and prose dialogues of he play

3.2.2. Rhetoric patterning and word play examples

3.2. Chapter 3. The analysis of the main themes and characters.

1.3.1. Order and disorder

1.3.2. The young lovers

III. Conclusion.

1.3. The results and conclusions of investigation

2.3. Some words about William Shakespeare and his comedy A Midsummer Nights Dream

IV. Bibliography.


1.1. The theme of my qualification work sounds as following: A Midsummer Nights Dream This qualification work can be characterized by the following:

The actuality of this work caused by several important points. We seem to say that Shakespeare always remains actual for us because his works even written three centuries ago his immortal poems tragedies chronicles and comedies tell about the modern things and phenomena which are happen to be in our lives such as humans qualities the problems of war and peace love revenge etc. And our work becomes much more actual because of the reason that this year we remembered the 1390th anniversary passed after his death so the significance of our work can be proved by the following reasons:

a) William Shakespeare for the British literature is of the same value as Pushkin for the Russians Navoi for the Uzbeks Abai for the Kazachs Balzac for the French etc.

b) A Midsummer Nights Dream is one of the latest plays of Shakespeare which was written not long before the authors death. That is why this comedy can demonstrate us the way of mental thinking of the late Shakespeare.

c) Though having written about the ancient Greek life this comedy reflects the real state of affairs happened in Anglia of the period of the 16th century.

d) The book also worth studying for its brilliant language cast of the personages ideas and dialogues within the scenes.

Having based upon the actuality of the theme we are able to formulate the general goals of our qualification work.

a) To study analyze and sum up the play from the modern viewpoints.

b) To analyze the major scenes in the play and to show their significance for the plot.

c) To prove the idea of modernity in Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream.

d) To mention and compare between themselves the critical opinions concerning to the play.

If we say about the new information used within our work we may note that the work studies the problem from the modern positions and analyzes the modern trends appeared in this subject for the last ten years. Mainly the newality is concluded in a wide collecting of internet materials dealing with the play. The practical significance of the work can be concluded in the following items:

a) The work could serve as a good source of materials for additional reading by students at schools colleges and lyceums.

b) The problem of difficult reading of Shakespeares language could be a little bit easier to understand since our qualification work includes the chapter concerning the question mentioned.

c) Those who would like to possess a perfect knowledge of English will find our work useful and practical.

d) Our qualification work is our little gift to memory of the outstanding English writer.

Having said about the scholars who dealt with the same theme earlier we may notion T. Shcepkina-Kupernik and A.Lozinsky who made a great input to the popularization of the great English in our country A.Anikst who prepared the first Russian Follio of Shakespeares works J.Coleridge Dr.Jonson Alfred Bates and many others.

If we say about the methods of scientific approaches used in our work we can mention the method of general analysis was used.

The newality of the work is concluded in including the modern interpretations of the play.

The general structure of our qualification work looks as follows:

The work is composed onto three major parts: introduction main part and conclusion. Each part has its subdivision onto the specific thematically items. There are three points in the introductory part: the first item tells about the general characteristics of the work the second paragraph gives us some words about the author of the play and the history of his work A Midsummer Nights Dream while the third part of introduction analyzes the critical works dedicated to the immortal comedy of William Shakespeare.. The main part of our qualification work consists of four chapters which in their turn are subdivided into several thematically paragraphs. The first chapter of the main part discusses the compositional structure of the comedy its plot and main idea. Here we also gave the particular attention to the description and further analysis of the most meaningful scenes in each act of the play. The second chapter thoroughly takes into consideration the peculiar features of Shakespeares language. In this chapter we tried to make our conclusions to the points of verse and prose correspondence rhethoric patterning and wordplay talent of the Avon Bard. The third chapter takes into consideration the main themes touched upon the play and their correspondence to the described epoch from the one side and their actuality in the 21st century from the other. The last chapter of the main part observes the characters of their play and their interrelations in respect to the society mental and age status. In conclusion to our work we gave our ideas got in the result of our investigation and appreciated the future perspectives of the latter. At the very end of our qualification work we supplied our work with the bibliography list and the internet materials.[1]

2.1. William Shakespeare born in 1594 is one of the greatest writers in literature. He dies in 1616 after completing many sonnets and plays. One of which is A Midsummer Nights Dream. They say that this play is the most purely romantic of Shakespeares comedies. The themes of the play are dreams and reality love and magic. This extraordinary play is a play-with-in-a-play which master writers only write successfully. Shakespeare proves here to be a master writer. Critics find it a task to explain the intricateness of the play audiences find it very pleasing to read and watch. A Midsummer Nights Dream is a comedy combining elements of love fairies magic and dreams.

A Midsummer Nights Dream is more or less contemporary with Romeo and Juliet and dates from the mid 1590s. In it Shakespeare is painstaking in his attention to details of language (as in the early Loves Labors Lost) but the play also shows the maturity of his best later work in its stagecraft. It is one of a group of plays known sometimes as festive comedies the others being As You Like It and Twelfth Nights. The plays are associated with festive seasons and traditional celebrations. A Midsummer Nights Dream is more democratic than many of Shakespeares plays rulers nobles workmen and spirits all dominate the drama at different points. As a term to describe a category (kind) of play tragedy (which means goat song in classical Greek!) originates in Athens in ancient times. Aristotle (a philosopher and scientist but no playwright) describes rules or principles for the drama which tragedians should follow. These rules have proved helpful as a working description but should not be seen as absolute: Shakespeare in practice ignores them more or less. Comedy is a term applied to the humorous plays of Greek (e.g. Aristophanes) and later Roman (e.g. Terence) dramatists. For Shakespeare a comedy is a play with a happy ending it may or may not be comical in the modern sense of being humorous. In trying to arrange Shakespeares work into categories (as for publication in book form) editors have produced a third category of histories. More recently critics have noted that Shakespeares latest plays do not fit any of these categories easily. Thus we have problem plays (or tragicomedies) in Measure for Measure and Alls Well that Ends Well and pastoral plays or romances in Pericles Cymbeline The Winters Tale and The Tempest. We should know that these labels were not consistently or even commonly applied in Shakespeares time. Plays classed as tragedies (such as Macbeth) may have a clearly historical subject. Some of our histories (such as Richard II and Richard III) were advertised as tragedies at the time of their performance. Shakespeare wrote plays to be seen in a complete performance which would for A Midsummer Nights Dream last about two and a half hours. The play would be performed by daylight (between about two and four oclock) in the purpose-built open air theatres or with artificial light (lanterns and candles) in private houses of wealthy patrons (The Tempest may well have been originally written for private performance: many of the special effects work best indoors and under artificial light; both Hamlet and A Midsummer Nights Dream show plays-within-the-play which are performed indoors at Nights). The plays were not written to be read or studied and (hand-written) copies of the text were originally made only for the use of the performers. It is important to remember this when you study the play as a text (with extensive editorial comment) on which you will be examined. Shakespeares company was the most successful of its day and his plays filled the theatres. Many (most?) of the audience in a public performance would lack formal education and be technically illiterate (this does not mean that they were unintelligent). But these were people for whom the spoken word was of greater value than is the case today: they would be more attentive more sensitive in listening to patterns of verse and rhyme and aware of imagery (word pictures).

The intervals between Shakespeares scenes represent changes in time or place but not of scenery which would be minimal or non-existent. Basic stage furniture would serve a variety of purposes but stage properties and costume would be more elaborate and suggestive. A range of gestures and movements with conventional connotations of meaning was used but we are not sure today how these were performed.

3.2 Critical opinions on the play

I am convinced says Coleridge that Shakespeare availed himself of the title of this play in his own mind and worked upon it as a dream throughout. The poet in fact says so in express words:

If we shadows have offended

Think but this (and all is mended)

That you have but slumbers here

While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme

No more yielding but a dream

Gentles do not reprehend.

But to understand this dreamto have all its gay and soft and harmonious colors impressed upon the vision to hear all the golden cadences of its poesy to feel the perfect congruity of all its parts and thus to receive it as a truth we must not suppose that it will enter the mind amidst the lethargic slumbers of the imagination. We must receive it

As youthful poets dream

On summer eves by haunted stream.

No one need expect that the beautiful influences of this drama can be truly felt when he is under the subjection of literal and prosaic parts of our nature; or if he habitually refuses to believe that there are higher and purer regions of thought than are supplied by the physical realities of the world. If so he will have a false standard by which to judge of this and of all other high poetrysuch a standard as that of the acute and learned critic Dr. Johnson who lived in a prosaic age and fostered in this particular the ignorance by which he was surrounded. He cannot himself appreciate the merits of A Midsummer Nights Dream: Wild and fantastical as this play is all the parts in their various modes are well written and give the kind of pleasure which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion; common tradition made them familiar and Spensers poem had made them great. And thus old Pepys with his honest hatred of poetry: To the Kings theatre where we saw A Midsummer Nights Dream which I had never seen before nor shall ever again for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life.[2] Hallam accounts A Midsummer Nights Dream poetical more than dramatic; yet rather so because the indescribable profusion of imaginative poetry in this play overpowers our senses till we can hardly observe anything else than from any deficiency of dramatic excellence. For in reality the structure of the fable consisting as it does of three if not four actions very distinct in their subjects and personages yet wrought into each other without effort or confusion displays the skill or rather instinctive felicity of Shakespeare as much as in any play he has written.

The Main Part.


1.1.2 The idea and composition of the play

In order to understand a play we have to work harder than did the Elizabethan or Jacobean audience. To see a play entire (in the theatre or on film) without interruption apart for the interval may be needed for us to appreciate Shakespeares strong sense of narrative drive and to see how the text is not the play but a (loose) blueprint for performance.

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