Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Author: William Shakespeare
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.
I struggled with this book. I have never really had a problem with Shakespeare's language, but this is a difficult read. And I must admit, my least favourite of his works. Hamlet is one of my favourite stories, Antony and Cleopatra was fantastic, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Othello were all a solid 7. But with A Midsummer Night's Dream I feel...insufficiency. Maybe that's because it's a comedy and nobody dies. A very dark thought, but it has proved to be right in my case before. I simply prefer tragedies. What I liked though, was the mix of dreams and reality in the plot, I always like a bit of onirism in literature. In the play, there are three, or rather four pairs, each of them are linked by a specific type of love, attraction or lust. Elves, fairies and magical creatures intervene in the world of humans on the night of the summer solstice, on the night when everything can happen. I plan to read this play again next Summer because it might be a bit more adequate time to feel the atmosphere of this story...
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
“And sleep, that sometime shuts up sorrow's eye, Steal me awhile from mine own company.”