Monday, February 24, 2014

We're English 10 Nerds and Loving It: February 24, 2014

Focus: How does A Midsummer Night's Dream conclude, and why does it conclude this way?

1. Warming up: Celebrating blogging brilliance

We still read this book because it reminds us of how chaotic love is in our lives. That we are humans, and humans aren't ever perfect.

The reason why we still read a Midsummer Night's Dream is that it shows us that love and all matters of life will run their true part and that all things, either bad or good will conclude. This is important to remember in modern life because as a society we are always stressed about the outcomes of certain things. Also we read Shakespeare because he helped develop the complexity of the English language. A verse Midsummer Night's Dream contributes to the world is that all things will come to conclusion and different aspects of life, such as love, will take unexpected turns.

Nothing ever works out quite the way you plan but in the end, a higher power is on your side and eventually, everything will turn out in your favor.

I think that we still read classical literature because it, in some ways, restores faith in the human race and shows that there is humanity there to lean back on. Love is powerful, if you are willing to work for it.

A Midsummer's Night Dream is still being read because it represents that relationships between people can be tangled up with the slightest misunderstanding but with some outside help they find a way to settle and find peace.

2. Spontaneously acting out the tragic tale of Pyramus and Thisbe:

Before reading: What do you know about this myth?

While reading: Mark any passages that connect somehow to Midsummer.

After reading: Why do you think Shakespeare selected this story to be in Midsummer?

Why is this a strange choice for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius?

3. Closely reading Puck's final speech (it's one of my favorites) and using the reading strategies chart to unravel it; you can find the speech at the very end of Act 5 (5.1.440-end)

Take a look at my example if you need some help:

4. Watching the film version of Acts 4 and 5

This will be the last time you add to your film notes; again, mark any interesting directorial choices and analyze what they might signify.

1. Watch THIS CLIP from Dead Poets Society, then watch THIS ONE (one scene, just divided into two clips).  Here's a little helpful background information before you watch: Neil, who plays Puck in his boarding school's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, is surprised to see his father in the audience.  His father, who is extremely controlling (and borderline abusive, in my opinion) has explicitly forbidden Neil to be in a play.

In your "Thou Doest Thine Homework Document," please respond to the following question: How does this scene slightly transform the meaning of Puck's final speech?  To whom does Neil seem to be speaking, and how does the meaning of this speech apply to his situation? Please type at least a few thoughtful sentences in response to this question.

2. Memoir reading


  1. I think Shakespeare put this story in a midsummer nights dream because it is ironic to have a play about two lovers killing themselves over each others "death" at a wedding of three couples. I guess it could symbolize their marriages are the death of them. But I don't know.

  2. I think he picked it because it is a tragic version of the outer play which it exists in, A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is a weird play for a wedding because it shows the ending of love, not the beginning.