A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and frequently performed comical plays (Berardinelli). The play transformed into a cinematic production by Michael Hoffman has not changed in its basic plot and dialogue, but the setting and some character traits have. The play setting has been gracefully moved from 16th century Greece to 19th century Tuscany (Berardinelli). The addition of bicycles to the play affects the characters in that they no longer have to chase each other around the woods, but can take chase in a more efficient fashion. As far as characters are concerned, Demetrius is no longer the smug and somewhat rude character we find in act 1, scene 1 (Shakespeare pg. 6, line 91), but rather a seemingly indifferent gentleman placed in an unfortunate circumstance set to delay his wedding to Hermia. Perhaps the most noticeable change in the character set from stage to film occurs in the characters of Puck and Nick Bottom.
Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, is established in the play as the jester to the King of Fairies, Oberon. He first appears in Act 2, Scene 1 when he and another fairy discuss the disagreement between Oberon and Titania are having. The fairy gives us some indication of Puck's character as she describes how Puck “frights the maidens of the villagery” and “Misleading the night wanderers” (Act 2.1, line 35). When Titania refuses to give up the boy servant that Oberon wants, he comes up with a plan to steal the child, and enlists Puck's help to do so. Oberon is fully aware of Puck’s desire to have a good time at the expense of others, but trusts him with the task of retrieving the flower to make Titania fall in love with “Lion, Bear, Wolf, or Bull.” (Act 2.1, line 180) The idea here is to convince Titania to hand over the changeling boy while she is infatuated with a beast. Being attracted to mischief, Puck seems excited to be tasked to this adventure, and claims to return “Within forty minutes” (Act 2.1, line 176) so that they can get started on their plan.
Puck describes his harmful behavior as if it is all logically consistent. He says he “Sometimes lurk in gossip’s bowl,” but does not think he takes anything too far. A lot of the humor that Puck brings to the play comes across in a subtle manner. For example, after he places the flower on Lysande...
... middle of paper ...
...age. Instead of laughing at Bottom, the film generates a feeling of sorrow for his character. When the wine is poured on him when the craftsmen first meet, Bottom takes an obvious emotional blow, so one can see how he would artificially inflate himself with the false perception of being a wonderful actor. When chosen to perform for Thesseus’s wedding, the players are very nervous and turn to Bottom for comfort. They look up to and respect Bottom for his confidence and acting ability, but Bottom later makes a fool of himself in the play by over dramatizing the part of Pyramus, especially when he performs the death of Pyramus. Michael Hoffman’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings a classical play to a modern audience and makes it an exciting and humorous experience. This is accomplished most notably with the direction he gives to the two characters discussed. The animated humor of Bottom and the slightly more subtle badgering of other characters brought forth by Puck creates a certain amount of attachment to the movie by the viewer. The cinematic version of Shakespeare’s play is well adapted to a modern audience, especially through the characters of Puck and Nick Bottom.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Michael Hoffman's Adaption of A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Michael Hoffman’s 1999 adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream received more acclaim then most adaptations previous to it. The well-known cast of actors, as well as the incredible visual effects used are the two most likely reasons for the film’s appeal to the masses. Even though the film’s casting and special effects brought people into the theaters to see the film, it isn’t what kept them there.... [tags: Papers]
1830 words (5.2 pages)
- Film Analysis of A Midsummer Night's Dream Michael Hoffman directed William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and it is an enchanting new version of Shakespeare's most magical comedy. It has dangerous potions, fairies and strange romances. It is a tale of a wondrous single night in which wicked spirits turn the world of love on its head. First I have to make it clear that I have never really thought much of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I have always considered it fairly frivolous and not too important in William Shakespeare's career.... [tags: Movies A Midsummer Night's Dream Essays]
419 words (1.2 pages)
- Oprah Winfrey once said, “The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.” But, what actually is a dream and what do dreams really have to do with one’s everyday life. In essence, a dream is a series of mental images and emotions occurring during slumber. Dreams can also deal with one’s personal aspirations, goals, ambitions, and even one’s emotions, such as love and hardship.... [tags: Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream]
2238 words (6.4 pages)
- Kevin Kline's Movie A Midsummer Night's Dream Theatre students are often told what not to prepare for an audition because some pieces have been done so many times they lose their meaning. Of Shakespeare’s entire canon, the two most often forbidden texts are Puck and Helena monologues from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Therefore, the two roles are often the most sought-after and coveted in the play when in production. However, in the 1999 film version, Kevin Kline as Bottom gets top billing. According to the rules of Elizabethan hierarchy, Bottom, being of the merchant class, is literally at the “bottom” of the social spectrum.... [tags: Kevin Kiline Midsummer Night's Dream Essays]
928 words (2.7 pages)
- Comparing Two Film Versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Introduction The two films we have been asked to compare are both different versions of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. The first was a big screen movie, by Michael Hoffman and made in 1998. This film was set in the 19th Century in the fictional city of Monte Athena and starred major actors and actresses such as Sophie Marceau, Kelvin Klein, Rupert Everett and Calista Flockhart. The second was a budget film made for channel 4 by Royal Shakespeare Company.... [tags: Papers]
866 words (2.5 pages)
- Michael Hoffman does an incredible job at capturing the feel and emotions of the Shakespearian comedy “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. With a contemporary and fresh look, Hoffman gives the 16th century play a modern flavor while staying true to the original script. This Shakespearian comedy has undergone numerous transformations, being variously re-invented as a musical, a ballet, and in more than a dozen films; and every time it has been subjected to various interpretations. Michael Hoffman also had his own interpretation and adaptation of different characters and settings.... [tags: Film Analysis]
981 words (2.8 pages)
- Since the beginning of history, there have always been two opposing forces. The protagonist and the antagonist have been at one-another’s neck since biblical times. And as is typical, the story always ends with the good guy being victorious, and the bad guy defeated and demonized. Well, now it is time to show the bad guys some love. After all, what would all the famous heroes be without their respective villains. Nothing, that’s what. And as writer Larry A. Winters claims, “Readers love bad guys.... [tags: compare/contrast]
1126 words (3.2 pages)
- Unreality in A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that encompasses three worlds: the romantic world of the aristocratic lovers, the workday world of the rude mechanicals, and the fairy world of Titania and Oberon. And while all three worlds tangle and intertwine during the course of the play, it is the fairy world that has the greatest impact, for both the lovers and the mechanicals are changed by their brush with the "children of Pan." For those whose job it is to bring these worlds to life in the theatre -- directors, designers, actors -- the first questions that must be answered are: just what do the fairies look like, and how is their world diffe... [tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream]
1683 words (4.8 pages)
- The Power of Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream Is love controlled by human beings who love one another or is love controlled by a higher power. There are many people who believe that a higher power has control over love. An example of a higher power would be a cupid, a flying angel-type creature who is supposed to shoot arrows at people to make them fall in love. There are other people who reject the idea that a higher power controls love and that the people who experience love can control it.... [tags: Midsummer Night's Dream]
924 words (2.6 pages)
- The Character of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream Considered one of William Shakespeare's greatest plays, A Midsummer Nights Dream reads like a fantastical, imaginative tale; however, its poetic lines contain a message of love, reality, and chance that are not usually present in works of such kind. All characters in the play are playful, careless and thoughtless, and Puck: one of the central characters in the play: is significant to the plot, tone, and meaning of A Midsummer Nights Dream, thus becoming a representative of the above-mentioned themes.... [tags: Midsummer Night's Dream]
1267 words (3.6 pages)