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quote
Graywacke
A Midsummer-night's Dream | William Shakespeare
post image

“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays”

Sketch is by Joseph Noel Paton (1821-1901)

#shakespearereadalong

Graywacke Seems to define the play, but I was really entertained by Puck after watching all the mess: “And so far am I glad it so did sort,
As this jangling I esteem a sport.”
2h
merelybookish I like Puck's perspective too. He sees the silliness, contributes to it, but also knows fate is to blame as well. 🙂 1h
Graywacke @merelybookish I love how he seems to relish the silliness, the mischievous spirit of play. 44m
18 likes3 comments
blurb
batsy
A Midsummer Night's Dream | William Shakespeare
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"And will you rent our ancient love asunder
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly."

I'm rescuing "maidenly" & turning this into a #spinsterlit rallying cry ? I know it's because everyone is #BewitchedBotheredAndBewildered & it's a misunderstanding, but I love Helena so much for saying this to Hermia! #ShakespeareReadAlong #MayMovieMagic @rohit-sawant @Cinfhen @merelybookish

batsy Painting: "Hermia and Helena", Washington Allston (before 1818) 9h
rohit-sawant There can never be enough #spinsterlit posts! 😄🙌🏼 Perfect pick!🏆 9h
saresmoore This post is gold! #rudeladyreadergenius 8h
See All 8 Comments
Manymelodies The more I learn of the argument that Shakespeare was a woman, and the more I read and understand the texts, the more convinced I am it's true!! Perfect example right here. 6h
batsy @rohit-sawant @saresmoore 😁❤️ 3h
batsy @Manymelodies I read an article recently about it that @erzascarletbookgasm shared and I'm very intrigued by the possibility 🙂 3h
readordierachel Yes to all of this! 👍🏼 2h
merelybookish Excellent! Wouldn't it be a great ending if Hermia and Helena ditched the guys and lived happily ever after, together or apart! (Interested in writing some fanfic? 😆) 1h
66 likes8 comments
blurb
readinginthedark
A Midsummer-night's Dream | William Shakespeare
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I'm slowly but surely catching up with all of my follows and comments here, which is why I haven't really been "on." But I'm here! And I'm reading the current #ShakespeareReadalong This is a reread for me, and so far, I'm still loving it!
@GingerAntics @merelybookish

teainthelibrary It's great, isn't it? The discussions have been awesome too! 1d
GingerAntics Loving this play so much. I‘ve seen it, but I‘m trying to figure out what took me so long to read it. 24h
readinginthedark @teainthelibrary I haven't caught up on the discussions yet, but they're always great! 17h
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readinginthedark @GingerAntics It took me longer than some of the other plays, too, but it's a really great one for easy reading, I feel like. 17h
GingerAntics Definitely agree on that. It seems to just sort of go. I can really see why people say this is a great intro to Shakespeare for small children. 16h
readinginthedark @GingerAntics It definitely is! This is the first one I saw performed! I think the first one I read in full was Romeo and Juliet 😒 but I have fond memories of seeing this one in person and on screen. 16h
GingerAntics We watched part of it in theatre class in high school. I think it was a video of Shakespeare in the part in NYC if I remember correctly. The parts we saw made me fall in love with Fairyland. 16h
readinginthedark @GingerAntics 💗 I love that these plays bring up so many great memories while we read! 16h
merelybookish Hey! Glad you're enjoying it! I'm loving it, much to my surprise. The language just feels extra extra rich! 1h
50 likes1 stack add9 comments
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Lcsmcat
A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Shakespeare William
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“How low am I, thou painted maypole?
speak; How low am I?
I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.”
#shakespearereadalong @merelybookish

merelybookish Poor Hermia! I'm a shorty so I felt for all the digs at her height. Still, I guess being a maypole is no compliment. 😃 1h
Lcsmcat They‘re neither showing their best selves here! 52m
TheBookHippie This is awesome. 4m
49 likes3 comments
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jewright
A Midsummer Night's Dream | William Shakespeare
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This happens to a lot of people unfortunately! #shakespearereadalong

merelybookish Indeed! 😛 1h
8 likes1 comment
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jewright
A Midsummer Night's Dream | William Shakespeare
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I put a sign with this line in my daughter‘s room. It describes her perfectly. #shakespearereadalong

merelybookish Such a great line! And good for your daughter (although in my experience fierce daughter's can be a challenge to parent 😬)! They really go after Hermia's height in this scene! 1h
9 likes1 comment
blurb
merelybookish
Midsummer Night's Dream | William Shakespeare
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Act II discussion time! We have landed in Fairyland but all is not well between king and queen. The Athenian youths are lost in various stages of love, lust and desperation.
Is this a delightful romp or is Shakespeare exploring darker, deeper themes? Is Fairyland a mirror to Athens or a contrast? Do you like Puck? Did you miss the Rude Mechanicals? Are Demetrius and Lysander pretty much the same guy? And will Helena ever find some self-worth?

See All 31 Comments
Rachbb3 One thing is for sure, mortals lives are screwy enough as it is without the immortals coming in and messing with them. 😆 Yet I guess that is what makes this one a crazy romp. I'm interested to see how/if things get worked out. Leander and Demetrius seem very similar and I have high hopes for Helena. 7d
Rachbb3 **Lysander 👆😩 7d
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I always remember being very mad at Oberon, not just for the meddling and drugging.....but the whole thing is because he wants a child the Queen is guarding! I felt the same way again this time! 7d
GingerAntics I think Fairyland and Athens are mirror images of each other, but not perfect images. Obviously the men in both want to dominate the women around them. I think women have greater agency and autonomy in Fairyland. Fairyland obviously also has the bonus of magic. Puck has been a favourite character for a while. I like his mischievous and laid back manner. 7d
Lcsmcat @Riveted_Reader_Melissa yeah, Oberon is not a favorite. But neither are the upper class mortal men. Pan and his incompetence amuse me, but I miss the players. 7d
merelybookish @Rachbb3 Leander/Lysander, tomato, tomahto. Your slip almost answers the question! 😆(You know you've read a lot of Shakespeare when...) 7d
merelybookish @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yeah Oberon is doing the king tyrant thing. Although I guess he means well when he suggests drugging Demetrius. Even he can't stand Helena's grovelling! 7d
merelybookish @GingerAntics Yes Titania does seem to have her own power. Although she still has to deal with a jerk husband. 7d
merelybookish @Lcsmcat I missed the players too. I was thinking about the layers of society that will be mixing once they get into the woods. The upper classes, the working classes, and the fairy class. 😀 7d
TheBookHippie @Rachbb3 🤣🤣🤷🏽‍♀️ I walked into the kitchen looked at the purple flower and laughed. I swear this reads like a Grimms fairytale !!! I agree with @GingerAntics Fairyland seems a bit better for the women. Oberon seems a bit of an _____ and is a favorite beer type around my town which considering the men that drink it 🤣🤢..this proves to be a fun read as I enjoy all the plotting 😜. 7d
GingerAntics @merelybookish I get the impression her jerk husband is going to pay for messing with the queen. I‘m hoping that Shakespeare is going to play to his queen (Elizabeth I) and how she doesn‘t let men mess with her. 🤞🏻 7d
GingerAntics @TheBookHippie I agree on Oberon. I want to slug him. I‘m kind of hoping that his plan back fires and she sleeps until it wears off. 7d
batsy I miss the players as well. I'm also #TeamLetsBeatUpOberonAndTheUpperClassMen I find Helena intriguing; she has a major blind spot re: Demetrius but seems so witty and aware when Lysander starts swooning over her. I also found Hermia's serpent dream quite foreboding and dark; definitely sets a different tone to the "whimsical fairy magic and frolicking in the woods" atmosphere. 7d
Graywacke For me this was the lovers spat act. Helena telling Demetrius he‘s be her spaniel has got to be funny on stage. She‘s having a very bad day. Titania and Oberon‘s back-and-forth was great fun. But it‘s a tough act to stop at...since the energy is rolling along. (edited) 7d
Graywacke @GingerAntics So my notes do reference Elizabeth. There‘s a line where Cupid misses his mark and the maiden stays pure (i quoted it in a post today). That‘s a reference to Elizabeth. 7d
Graywacke While looking up that quote (mentioned immediately above), I found a lot homoerotic performance images of Oberon and Puck. When Titatian exits, Oberon asks Puck to step close. And, as we know, Oberon wants the boy (and we know why, even if it‘s not in the play). That‘s a window for the interpretation. I thought it was interesting. I‘m not fan of Oberon and his selfishness either. All the men in this play are shits. 🤣 🤣 (edited) 7d
erzascarletbookgasm I think Fairyland is a mirror to the human world. Hermia refusing to obey her father..and in Fairyland, Titania not giving in to Oberon. In both worlds, the women refuse the rights of the men! 7d
merelybookish @TheBookHippie I think beer probably beats the man! 7d
merelybookish @batsy Yes and lots of sexual references in the couples' conversations. You have Hermia trying to protect her virtue and Helena offering hers up. And I do hope Helena rises above! 7d
merelybookish @Graywacke It's always interesting to consider the homoeroticism of Shakespeare's plays when you imagine all characters were played by men. But I have to admit I didn't go there with why Oberon wanted the Indian boy. 😯 But I see it now. 7d
teainthelibrary @Graywacke I totally didn‘t even catch all of these homoerotic implications - went right over my head lol! I can‘t tell if they are included because it‘s Shakespeare or if it‘s because it‘s taking place in Athenian Greece where those types of relationships are normal? 7d
teainthelibrary To me, Helena was the most relatable character in all of this. Her self-awareness when Lysander wakes up is almost tragic and it definitely resonated with me. I found all of the women interesting in this act - someone above mentioned all of the references to Elizabeth, so I wonder if including all of these strong women was intentional! 7d
teainthelibrary @merelybookish @batsy I loved how Lysander and Hermia slept far apart in order to remain virtuous - they could‘ve avoided all the trouble if they had just remained together 😂 7d
Graywacke @teainthelibrary @merelybookish @batsy the dangers of pre-marital chastity. 6d
batsy @teainthelibrary So true 😂 I find his female characters in the comedies so interesting! Maybe it's because the comedies afford more playfulness in language, so their wit is a particular standout. 6d
teainthelibrary @batsy have you read a lot of Shakespeare? I think I‘ve read 3 or 4 so I don‘t have a lot to compare to in terms of knowledge of other characters! 6d
batsy @teainthelibrary I studied some plays in college and joined the #ShakespeareReadAlong here; we've read quite a few thus far and it's been immensely fun 🙂 6d
teainthelibrary @batsy this is my first for the readalong - I‘m excited for the others! 5d
61 likes31 comments
quote
Graywacke
A Midsummer-night's Dream | William Shakespeare
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But I might see young Cupid‘s fiery shaft
Quenched in the chaste beams of the wat‘ry moon,
And the imperial vot‘ress passèd on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free.

— Oberon to Puck. I like the contrast, the fire and water, especially in play on plans gone wrong.

Fancy-free : free from the power of love

#shakespearereadalong

merelybookish Yes that is a lovely image, of the fire quenched in the watery moon! And I have always loved the term fancy-free. There was so much beautiful imagery in this act! 7d
Graywacke @merelybookish I like the term. (Isn‘t there a Fancy Nancy book that makes terrific use of it? 🙂) But the way it‘s used here is, well, magnificent. (edited) 7d
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teainthelibrary
A Midsummer Night's Dream | William Shakespeare
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I adored the Fairy song & love the silhouette of the Fairy Sentinel! 🧚🏽‍♀️🧚🏽‍♂️

‘You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blindworms, do no wrong,
Come not near our Fairy Queen.

...

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Work nor snail, do no offense.

...

Hence away! Now all is well.
One aloof stands sentinel.‘

#shakespearereadalong

Graywacke Love that illustration too. 1w
batsy That's lovely. 1w
Lcsmcat That‘s great! What edition is it? 1w
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merelybookish That illustration is adorable! 7d
teainthelibrary @Graywacke same! There‘s so many sprinkled throughout the acts, I had a hard time choosing which to share 😊 7d
teainthelibrary @Lcsmcat this is from a Folger Library edition from the 50s/60s - they‘re still publishing Shakespeare today! 7d
32 likes6 comments