Much Ado About Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Ref: C2345379

A Midsummer Night’s Dream A silly frothy play about fairies and lurve! Is that what you think? Well fairies and love is true, but otherwise you couldn’t be more wrong. A play about sex, certainly, and its maddening impact on young and old. A play about young love, forbidden love – and not just by parents, suicidal love, about its impact on friendships, about marriage, elopement, forced marriage, political marriage and about the arguments between spouses. And sex. A play about imagination and art, reflecting its own period, but every other time too. And sex. A play about escaping the everyday world for the wildness of the woods, where the rule of law does not reach, and there is no telling what may happen. And sex. A play about making plays and art, about illusion and disillusion, full of magic and poetry and laughs. And, did I mention? It’s all about sex, good and not so good, including bestiality and paedophilia. And you thought it was just a fairy story!

Course aim

To read and explore A Midsummer Night's Dream, its themes, its poetry, its lasting popularity, its language, and its comedy. To look at what it tells us about Shakespeare's world (and our world) about Shakespeare's theatre (and our theatre).

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers
  • An interest in, and enthusiasm for, Shakespeare.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • 1. Approach Shakespeare without fear. I will acquire a confidence that I can understand, enjoy and contribute to discussions of Shakespeare's themes, language, theatrical methods.
  • 2. Explain the context in which A Midsummer Night's Dream was written, the background of the period when Shakespeare was writing, its politics and the Elizabethan view of the world
  • 3. Offer insights into the language of A Midsummer Night's Dream, its effect on our language today and the changing meanings and associations of words.
  • 4. Describe modern theatrical approaches to A Midsummer Night's Dream and discuss various ways of performing it.
  • 5. Explain the relevance of A Midsummer Night's Dream today.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

See a production of the play either before or during the course . You don't need to buy a copy, but if you want to, try one of the school editions if you are fairly new to Shakespeare studies; look at the Arden, Oxford or Cambridge editions if you you are more advanced. All different, all good.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Much Ado About Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream


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