Saturday, 12 October 2013

A Midsummer's Nightmare (Act 2, Scene 2)

We start with Titania ordering her fairies to sing a lullaby. This is one of the worst scene-openers I've ever seen and if I started a chapter/story with this, it would have been achingly boring. But since it's Shakespeare, this is overlooked.

Her fairies stand guard near the area while Titania sleeps, but they completely fail because mere seconds later, Oberon saunters in and spreads the flower juice on Titania's eyelids, cursing her to fall in love with something vile. Then he walks offstage. That was brief and boring.

Lysander and Hermia run in at this point. Lysander says they're lost and suggests they sleep. If I were Hermia, I'd have thoroughly berated Lysander for getting lost, but instead they focus on how to sleep. Men being men (or at least male characters by Shakespeare being, uh, male characters by Shakespeare), Lysander wants to share a bed with Hermia. Hermia goes all 'but I must protect my virtue' and after a bit of arguing, they sleep separately. Thank goodness.

(Although that might have been because of difficulties the actors might have encountered if an alternate situation were performed onstage.)

Then Puck strolls by. Remember Oberon asked him to spread the juice on the Athenian man's eyes? Oberon meant Demetrius, but Puck spots Lysander and gives him a dose of the juice instead. No matter, Hermia isn't that far off ...

... but since we're only in Act 2, it couldn't end that fast. Thus Demetrius and Helena come in. Demetrius is still trying to convince Helena to leave him alone, but fails miserably, so he just storms off and leaves Helena to her own devices. Helena runs around and trips over Lysander. Now he's in love with Helena! *chirpy tone*

Helena thinks he's mocking her for her inability to attract Demetrius and leaves in a huff. Lysander denounces Hermia and chases after Helena. Now, it seems that Hermia was able to sleep through all that hassle. It would have been mildly interesting if Hermia actually heard all that and was feigning sleep, but no, she just woke up from a nightmare.

Her nightmare consisted of a serpent biting out her heart and Lysander was on the sidelines saying "hahaha." My theory is that the serpent = magic/love juice, heart = love, Lysander "hahaha"ing = Lysander running after Hermia. But that's just a student who has no say in the marking scheme.

Next up: Act 3, Scene 1. Bottom makes an ass of himself and Titania fails to emulate Queen Elizabeth I.

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