Three “Worlds”: Interlocking Spheres of Action and their Sources Athens: Classical Mythology Faerie Forest: Folklore and Elizabethan Festive Culture “Rude Mechanicals”: Working Classes of Shakespeare’s England – Artisans and Artists
First World: Athens Politics Law Marriage Ruling Class Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus Athenian LoversHermia, Demetrius, Lysander, Hele na
Theseus The Deeds of Theseus Theseus, Duke of Athens, Plutarch, TheFrom: Athens, Greece Date: about 440- Lives of the Noble Grecians and 430 BC Romanes, 1579. British British Museum Library, C.38.k.24, p.1
Theseus Amazonomachy: Theseus andTheseus and the the Amazons Hippolyte andMinotaur(Detail) Deinomache (Vase painting)
Hippolyta and the AmazonsAmazonomachy – Attic – ca. 420 BC New York - Hippolyte. Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum. 1553.Metropolitan Museum of Art
A Midsummer Night’s DreamFacsimile of the 1623 First Folio Internet Shakespeare Editions, University of Victoria (Canada), 2010.http://internetshakespeare.u vic.ca/
A Midsummer Nights Dream (First Folio, 1623) 1.1.1-11 Enter Theseus, Hippolita, with others. Theseus. NOW faire Hippolita, our nuptiall Hip. Foure daies wil quickly steep the-selues inhoure nightsDrawes on apace: foure happy daies bring in Foure nights wil quickly dreame away the time:Another Moon: but oh, me thinkes, how slow And then the Moone, like to a siluer bow,This old Moon wanes; She lingers my Now bent in heauen, shal behold the nightdesires Of our solemnities.Like to a Step-dame, or a Dowager,Long withering out a yong mans reuennew.
A Midsummer Nights Dream (First Folio, 1623) 1.1.20-25Theseus. Hippolita, I wood thee with my sword,And wonne thy loue, doing thee iniuries:But I will wed thee in another key,With pompe, with triumph, and with reuelling.
Second World: Faerie Forest Traditional English Culture (Folklore and Festivity)“Green World”: Crossing between natural world and supernatural realm Echoes Athens but also offers different perspective on it Titania, Oberon, Puck
A Midsummer Nights Dream (First Folio, 1623) 2.1.101-110Titania. The nine mens Morris is fildvp with mud,And the queint Mazes in the wantongreene,For lacke of tread arevndistinguishable.The humane mortals want theirwinter heere,No night is now with hymne orcaroll blest;Therefore the Moone (thegouernesse of floods)Pale in her anger, washes all theaire;That Rheumaticke diseases doeabound.And through this distemperature, weseeThe seasons alter …
Third World: “Rude Mechanicals”World of Art (Artisans and Artists) Working Class MetatheatreBottom, Quince, Flute, Snout, Snu g, Starveling The Mechanicals in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Old Vic Theatre, London, 1937
Bottom“Bless theeBottom, bless thee!T h o u a r ttranslated.”Illustration byArthur Rackham( 1 9 0 8 )
Pyramus and Thisbe Act Five Source: Ovid, MetamorphosesPlot similar to Romeo and Juliet, but also the Midsummer that might- have-been if the comic impulse had not won out.