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Different Viewing Strategies of a Midsummer Night’s Dream

Essay by   •  February 3, 2017  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,262 Words (6 Pages)  •  510 Views

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Lydia Vanoster

Mrs. Lindon

Final copy

4 December 2015

Different Viewing Strategies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

        Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, has a diverse and twisted love circle. Some characters who are in a relationship fall in love with another, some start to love those they hate and a few stay loyal to those they loved from the start. The love circle changes so frequently throughout the play because of the fairies, believed to live in the woods and control everything. Both plot lines seemed parallel when comparing the reading and listening of the play to the viewing of the production. Watching the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is more desirable than reading the script because actually “seeing” the words performed helps the viewer understand the overall atmosphere of the storyline.

                The setting is one of the prevailing examples for why the viewing of the production is preferred because the production allows the viewers to see an actual picture of the scenery, instead of coming up with their own interpretation based upon what they pick up from the text. The script is not limited by any means for the area that the characters can travel, so this forces the reader to have to keep coming up with new mental images of where the story is taking place, instead of being able to focus on the storyline. The production may be limited on what they can portray on stage, but the viewer gets the full picture on stage instead of bits and pieces. One example was in the script when Puck and Oberon were watching over the couples fighting in the woods, the audience had to remember they were there watching everything because the fairies don’t speak until after about what to do to fix it. In the production, the audience can watch Oberon’s reaction to the mess that Puck has created while the arguing is still going on, keeping the fairies still in the scene. This is just one of the many examples of how the setting is better portrayed in the movie because of the amount of visuals used to set up the full picture.

                The setting is not the only reason why watching the production is better; the fairies in the play also change the atmosphere in a way that just reading the script never could. The fairies in the production are given this unique and unforgettable look of bright colors, fluff and overall very absurd costumes which help them to stand out from the rest of the characters in the story. The fairies are never fully explained in detail in the script, which forces the reader to come up with their own mental picture. The movie gave each fairy a unique look from the other fairies, which also helped to decipher between the characters, but besides just looks, the movie also was able to portray emotions that weren’t explained in the script. One example, was the way that Puck acted when he was performing, this helped to portray Pucks crazy and out-of-the-box personality that was given to him, from him kissing Oberon before he leaves to the time that he lays down with the mortals as he puts them all to sleep, he has funny and outgoing characteristics that help the audience pick up on some of his jokes that may have been overlooked when reading the script. Each fairy’s unique personality and attire helps the audience to connect with them better than just reading the script.

                In the different medias, the Royals are portrayed as elaborate people. In the movie the audience gets certain views which help to drive home that idea better than the script does. Both gives the audience the sense of a big palace, but the movie is able to give the audience a visual aide to help them visualize just how big this palace is. Not only is the scene in which the Royals placed portrayed better in the movie, but so were the Royals in general. Theseus in the production is seen laughing and enjoying the production that the mechanics put on, while in the script it is much harder to pick up on this. Theseus’s excitement for his honeymoon, or the sex, is much easier to pick up on in the production because the audience watches the way he touches Hippolyta or talks softly in her ear, all indicating his desire for sex. Hippolyta is the soon to be wife of Theseus and she is seen wearing big elaborate dresses and hairdos that were not described in the play.Hippolyta also uses grand hand gestures while talking or when proving her point, which were not used in the script. The use of facial expressions and hand gestures all lead to the better understanding of the play, while also adding emphasis on ideas that may have not been able to be emphasized in the script reading.

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