Ever since I read my first Shakespeare play in grade 10, I have been a huge fan of the beloved Bard. Funnily enough, in my high school, the first Shakespeare play that people would usually read was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, however my class read Twelfth Night instead. For this reason I feel like I’ve been late to the party when it comes to reading and knowing the plot of this play! That being said, this was a wonderful Shakespearean comedy, and I can see why teachers would use this one as an introduction to his work. There are fairies, a love rectangle, a play within a play, a lot of confusion, and a guy whose head gets turned into a donkey. How can you go wrong? 😛
I think one of the reasons I loved Shakespeare right from the beginning was because I found the language easier to understand than I thought. Not that Shakespearean language is easy, but it was so hyped up for my entire educational career, that I thought it was going to be like reading gibberish. That was not the case, and it turned out that the characters were charming, the plot amusing, and the language beautiful. Like I said, I had read and loved Twelfth Night in grade 10, but the same can be said for A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well.
As a high school teacher, I would definitely want to teach Shakespeare plays (my favourite being Macbeth), and I want to think of interesting ways of teaching it and making fun projects for the students to do. Contrary to popular belief, Shakespeare’s plays are excellent pieces to study because of the universal and timeless themes, and there are so many ways teachers could make these plays interesting and relevant for the modern student. I may write a separate blog post on the relevancy and importance of Shakespeare because I have so much to say about the topic. As an educator and a lover of Shakespeare I’m pretty biased when it comes to that debate!
The only reason I didn’t give A Midsummer Night’s Dream five teacups was because I was never really a fan of the “play within a play” aspect of some Shakespeare plays. The only time I like it is when I’m watching the play performed live because it’s always so fun to see on stage. You definitely don’t get the same effect while reading the play. To me, it always seemed like a pointless additional story. The play within a play always add entertainment value in the live performance because you get to see actors playing a character that’s acting as another character. A sort of inception, if you will 😛 The same just can’t be done with the written script. For that reason, I found myself skimming the end of the play, but up until then I enjoyed every minute of it.
A last note: I love it when I’m reading a Shakespeare play and I read lines that I am familiar with. It’s always such a fun little thrill 😛 There are some Shakespeare quotes that you hear all the time and that I’ve read on Pinterest or other websites. Seeing them in their context of the play always makes me smile! Some gems from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
And that’s about all I can think to say! I would definitely choose this play or Twelfth Night as an introductory Shakespeare piece. Although I’m blanking on any modern adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the movie She’s The Man is an excellent teen flick for Twelfth Night. If you know of any for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, please let me know so I can use them in class! I was so happy to cross another Shakespeare play off my TBR, and I can’t wait to see which one I want to pick up next!
To explore the SparkNotes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream you can click here –> http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/msnd/
This looks like an hilarious take on this classic tale. Here is A Midsummer Night’s Dream in text talk! –> http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/252937/a-midsummer-night-nofilter-by-william-shakespeare-and-brett-wright/
To visit the Shakespeare shop you can click here –> http://shop.shakespeare.org.uk/shop/
Check out these beautiful new editions of the Shakespeare plays! –> http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/BS5/the-pelican-shakespeare
And finally to learn a little bit more about the Bard, you can click here –> http://www.biography.com/people/william-shakespeare-9480323