Throughout A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, there are multiple analyses that one can follow in order to reach a conclusion about the overall meaning of the play. These conclusions are reached through analyzing the play’s setting, characterization, and tone. However, when one watches the production A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Michael Hoffman, a completely different approach is taken on these aspects, leading to a vastly different analysis of the work. Though there are many similarities between the original written play A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and the on-screen production of the aforementioned play which was directed by Michael Hoffman, there are differences in setting and characterization that cause the audience to draw different conclusions from each work.
In the original work A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare sets his play in fifteenth century Athens, Greece. His choice of setting leads his readers to a naturally more magical, mythical land (as Greece was the location of the belief in mythical happenings and beings, such as in the religion of the land’s people). This made the occurrences of fairies, potions, anecdotes, etc. much more inherent. However, in the movie, Hoffman set the production in twentieth century Italy. The audience of the movie is much more baffled by the appearance of mythological creatures due to the setting. It is not innately magical, as in Shakespeare’s written play. The modern setting naturally incorporates the use of modern inventions, modern clothing, and modern behavior. These factors change the audience’s perspective and analyzation from the original play to the movie. For example, the use of bicycles made transportati...
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...ferent versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream should be extremely different from the original written play to the film. In Shakespeare’s original writing, he portrays his characters with very different personalities than Michael Hoffman exposes in his production. Hoffman’s interpretation, though not necessarily wrong, exemplifies traits that were not otherwise exemplified for the sake of the film. However, much of this change in character in the movie leads back to Hoffman’s choice of setting, which was much different than Shakespeare’s original intended setting. The film as a whole did not capture the magic intended to be represented by the play. Though the similarities were apparent, the differences between William Shakespeare’s original A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hoffman’s film rendering of it caused a very different outcome in analysis and delivery of the story.
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