A Midsummer Night's Dream | Artopia

William Shakespeare

A Closer Look

In this scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream Oberon, the King of the Fairies, has tricked the queen, Titania, into falling in love with Nick Bottom. Meanwhile, Puck has turned Bottom into an ass. Here the Queen and her fairies dote on the donkey. Watch the video and notice how the actors use their bodies and voices to convey the absurdity of the situation. Compare Erica Tobolski's performance with her depiction of Hecuba in The Trojan Women.

About the Play

A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's early comedies, probably written in 1595 or 1596 as entertainment for a wedding celebration. The plot is complicated, with two sets of couples, fairies, magic spells and potions, and a play within a play. As the character of Puck says in the final scene, if you don't like the play, pretend it was all a dream: "If we shadows have offended/Think but this, and all is mended/That you have but slumber'd here/While these visions did appear."

About the Artists

William Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest poet of the English language, lived during the Renaissance. He was an actor, poet and playwright whose plays were performed at the Globe Theater in London. There were no women in the Globe company - all the parts were played by men. This scene is from a production of the play staged by The University of South Carolina's Department of Theater and Dance.

WRITE ABOUT IT

  • Make a list of what you see and hear in the production.
  • How does the production use the elements of theater?
  • What is your opinion of the production? How does it make you feel?