Staging A Midsummer Night's Dream With an Emphasis on the Influence of the Spirit World on the Human World

Staging A Midsummer Night's Dream With an Emphasis on the Influence of the Spirit World on the Human World

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Staging A Midsummer Night's Dream With an Emphasis on the Influence of the Spirit World on the Human World

Note: My essay is going to explore the ways of staging this scene in
the Globe, London.

At the start of this scene, the conflict between Titania and Oberon
over the Indian child has made Oberon embarrass Titania by magically
making her fall in love with bottom. Puck had earlier turned Bottom
into an ass to make an even bigger fool of Titania.

For this scene I will drape brown and green cloth down the rear of the
stage to create an image of a forest. I will also have two very tall
and wide wooden pillars. These will be painted to look like trees and
decorated with similar, but glittering, cloth towards the top. These
will be the platforms for some of the fairies later in the scene.

I will launch the scene with Bottom sitting at the front-right of the
stage with Titania and the other fairies around him. Puck, who cast
the spell on Titania and Bottom, is up on the right pillar looking
down on them. The flower he used should be prominently displayed on
stage when characters under its spell are performing.

On stage, Titania should be dressed in a long shimmering dress,
possibly in shades of purple and red to portray her as a regal but
magical character. She should, in addition to this, be acting at a
higher level than the fairies to symbolize her authority over them.

The fairies in this scene should also be wearing clothing that catch
the natural light in the theatre, but should not be wearing clothes as
beautiful or as colorful as Titania's, again to create the image of
different power levels.

As a contrast, Bottom must be wholly different to the others around
him as he is a mortal. And I think should sit where I have positioned
him, so that the groundlings can almost see him as if he were there
among them. Simply having an unusually long grey goatee and ears

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should portray him as an ass and whilst saying the lines "I am
marvelous hairy about the face" he will be able to play with his
facial hair to bring humor into the scene.

I also feel that in lines 10-32 Bottom should really project his voice
and accent his poor use of French. This I feel will effectively
portray the contrast between Bottoms 'common' prose and Titania's
Iambic Pentameter- "Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat?"
(Titania, IV.i.28)

During the point after Titania asks "wilt thou hear some music", music
should play throughout the theatre in areas hidden from the audience,
to imply that the music is playing as if by magic.

At line 38, the fairies should leave skipping on tiptoes through
separate doors at the rear of the stage, leaving Bottom and Titania to
sleep peacefully. Puck should also leave his high-rise position at
this time, ready to enter via the trap door.

Now, Puck should climb up through the trapdoor to be met by Oberon on
his horse. By climbing up through the trap door he will have to look
up to Oberon, who I think should be on a horse to portray his
authority over the others. Oberon must be dressed in dark clothing
covering most of his body and should have long dark hair like that of
his horse. He should advance, on his horse, right up to sleeping
Titania and Bottom and after the line, "Now, my Titania; wake you, my
sweet queen" Titania should wake instantly with Bottom still asleep
"upon this flowery bed,"(Titania, IV.i.1). He says this now because I
imagine he either feels pity for Titania or feel that she has been
successfully punished.

At this point the relationship between Titania and Oberon is beginning
to resolve and this is symbolized by rhyming couplets. Especially when
the rhyming of words split between the royal couple such as "Now, my
Titania, wake you, my sweet Queen!" and "My Oberon, what visions have
I seen!". (Oberon & Titania, IV.i.72-73)

When Oberon orders, "Robin, take of this head" puck should walk in
front of Bottom removing his beard and ears. After this, music should
begin to play once again.

Titania mounting Oberon's horse to reveal their newfound unity should
follow "Come, my queen, take hands with me," Then, as they ride off
the stage passing through the back door, Titania must hold Oberon's
hips to evoke an impression of their relationships reconciliation.

After this section of the scene, Titania and Oberon will be on top of
one of the pillars, which should now be decorated with pastel coloured
flowers to symbolize their reconciled relationship.

Now is the time for the more important mortals to enter, but with
Bottom sleeping un-noticeably in one of the corners at the front of
the stage. I think it would be suitable for them to come on up the
steps from one side of the stage to portray the fact that they are
human, coming in from the world where the audiences have come.

Theseus and the other high powered mortals on the stage at this time
should be dressed in the typical royal dress code, to allow the
audience to relate to them.

The huntsmen that wake them with their horns should be shown on one
side of the stage. The lovers' attention is caught instantly by them
but still remain "Half sleep, half waking" and confused due to Cupids
flower displayed prominently on stage. I believe that the flower
symbolizes love-in-idleness because of the fact it has been struck by
one of Cupids arrows. Cupid is blind and so doesn't know which two
people he is going to make fall in love when he strikes them and so
this image again wonderfully illustrates the influence of the fairy
world on the mortals lives. Their clothes should be somewhat creased
as they have been sleeping on the ground in the wood to escape the
Athenian Law.

Egeus starts off in an angry disposition towards Theseus and therefore
should be wearing tones of red to illustrate his fury. As a contrast
to this, green would be a suitable colour for Theseus to exemplify his
relaxed and understanding approach since the renewed relationship of
Titania and Oberon.

It is very important at this time that Oberon and Titania are
portrayed as very close and in love. Hopefully the audience will
understand the idea that the spirit world has an effect on the natural
world, with both worlds showing similar reconciliation towards the end
of this scene. They should also be able to recognize how the conflicts
in the spirit world earlier in the play caused the problems between
Theseus and the lovers, and how they were all resolved as Theseus
became more understanding when Oberon and Titania's relationship was
renewed. This idea is confirmed by Titania's extensive speech earlier
in the play (II.i.81-117); it is in this speech that Titania says that
the dispute with Oberon has changed the natural patterns of the
climate and the seasons, "… though this distemperature we see The
seasons alter…" (II.i.106-107).

As soon as the three older powers exeunt, the remaining lovers should
instantaneously show a less formal and more tranquil manner before
they too leave the stage via the steps at one side of the stage.

It is now time for Bottom to awake, say his lines to the groundlings
and then leave the stage.
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