Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

midsummer-nights-dream

“Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be”

— William Shakespeare

To my thinking, it would not be midsummer without a nocturnal visit from Puck, Titania, Oberon, Peas-Blossom, Cobweb and the whole fairy gang.  These are, of course, Shakespeare’s notorious sprites who haunt and bewitch four young lovers that find themselves lost in the forest on midsummer night.

To be fair, I should mention it is the humans who create the problems in the first place, with jealously, rivalry, impositions and demands.

midsummer lovers

Helena is in love with Demetrius.  Demetrius is in love with Hermia.  Hermia cannot STAND Demetrius, but loves Lysander.  Hermia’s father forbids her to marry Lysander and insists she marry Demetrius.  Poor Helena is left with no one.  That is, until Puck the trickster uses a magic flower potion to mix up everyone’s affections, resulting in extreme chaos.

“Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand;
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover’s fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

In the meantime, fairy King Oberon is arguing with his wife Titania, and decides to trick her with the same magic potion, thus causing her to fall in love with Bottom.  Bottom is a human who has, for midsummer night, been changed into a donkey.  Titania does not seem to mind.

“Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee.”

midsummer donkey

Shakespeare reveals the simple, painful truth: Love is unfair. It is also confusing, nonsensical, often forced upon us and taken from us.  Not to mention absurd, improbable and given to bestiality.

Consider yourself warned. If you wander into the woods tonight be very careful… Puck is waiting 🙂

midsummer shadow

 

If you are looking for some midsummer entertainment, I hope you’ll like this magical rendition of  Shakespeare’s play, called ‘The Dream’.  It was first presented in 2014 by the American Ballet Theatre. Music is by Felix Mendelssohn, choreography by Frederick Ashton.  Running time is about one hour.

Happy Midsummer!

 

“Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.

Trip away; make no stay
Meet me all by break of day.”

midsummer shakespeare

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s Words and Wisdom

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”  – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

real

 

No one knows the exact actual date of Shakespeare’s birth. We do, however, know through church records that he was baptized on April 26th, 1564.  It was customary back then to baptize babies within three days of their birth. (This was done so they wouldn’t end up in Limbo, which was NOT, btw, a dance —  but rather a state of suspension in which one’s soul was not fit for Heaven, yet not bad enough for Hell.  It all had to do with that pesky original sin, which could be expunged with baptism.)   We also know, through death records, that Shakespeare passed away on April 23rd, 1616 at the ripe old age of 52. (This reportedly following a drinking binge with Ben Johnson and some theater buddies, come down to Stratford for some merry making.  Maybe celebrating his birthday!)   Imagination and poetic license allow us to say, within reason, that Shakespeare’s birth date and death date both fall on April 23rd.

Therefore, TODAY marks the  400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and the 452nd anniversary of his birth.  Yay Will!

Birthday-Shakespeare

In honor of my all time favorite writer, I would like to submit a compilation of some of his most profound quotes.  I mean, he covered everything —  birth, death, love, sex, men, women, music, good, evil, humanity itself.  It’s worth looking into –  maybe even worth considering as part of  our own life philosophies. Let me know what you think!

 

“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh nor more;

    Men were deceivers ever;

One foot in sea and one on shore,

    To one thing constant never.”  –  Much Ado About Nothing

Arthur Hughes - The Pained Heart (aka 'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more')

Ah, yes, pretty maids.  Be not bothered by those jack-a-nape rogues you call boyfriends who refuse commitment and wedding rings, all the while drooling over the latest porn posts.  Listen to the immortal Bard.  ‘Constant to one thing never.’  What did you expect?  Instead best get your career in track, use birth control and invest in a good 401 k.

 

“Thou know’st the first time that we smell the air we wawl and cry. When we are born we cry, that we are come to this great state of fools.” – King Lear

Newborn-baby-after-a-home-001

Well, after all now.  We know this planet earth is a rather silly place, don’t we?  Of course little babies coming in here are gong to be upset.  Especially considering a lot of them now are Indigos and Crystal children from the constellation Sirius and such outermost regions. The cradle-grave journey is a short stay, so heed the Bard’s advice and know this is but a state of fools.

 

 

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”  – Hamlet

day-and-night

As Abe Lincoln once said, ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time.’ So you may as well please yourself. They are going to criticize you anyway, so heed this great seed of wisdom  from the Shakes and be your own original self at all times.

 

Well, if Fortune be a woman, she’s a good wench for this gear.” – The Merchant of Venice

pirate wench

Need we say more?  Just don’t mess with any swashbuckling wenches 🙂

 

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” – Macbeth

fairy

And watch out for them wicked witches!  They just might make some dire predictions that may or may not come true, depending upon your own ambition.

 

“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – Macbeth

walking-shadow

As I mentioned before, it’s a short stay here on planet earth, begging the immortal question,’What’s the point?’

 

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet

Good_vs_Evil_by_Saibel

Everyone knows this.  Hasten not to make those moral judgments, ye foolish mortals,  for one man’s trash is another’s treasure.  If you don’t believe me just check out ebay 🙂    It is the thinking that makes it so.

 

If music be the food of love…

play on