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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?

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DeleteAcct 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. 6mo
DeleteAcct **Lysander 👆😩 6mo
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! 6mo
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. 6mo
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. 6mo
merelybookish @Rachbb3 Leander/Lysander, tomato, tomahto. Your slip almost answers the question! 😆(You know you've read a lot of Shakespeare when...) 6mo
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! 6mo
merelybookish @GingerAntics Yes Titania does seem to have her own power. Although she still has to deal with a jerk husband. 6mo
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. 😀 6mo
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 😜. 6mo
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. 🤞🏻 6mo
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. 6mo
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. 6mo
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) 6mo
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. 6mo
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) 6mo
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! 6mo
merelybookish @TheBookHippie I think beer probably beats the man! 6mo
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! 6mo
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. 6mo
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? 6mo
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! 6mo
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 😂 6mo
Graywacke @teainthelibrary @merelybookish @batsy the dangers of pre-marital chastity. 6mo
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. 6mo
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! 6mo
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 🙂 6mo
teainthelibrary @batsy this is my first for the readalong - I‘m excited for the others! 6mo
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