POST: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - what propels us forward?
What’s It About?
A Midsummers Night's Dream is a comedy of love gone amiss where fairies have fun at the hands of mortals. Oh and there’s a mini play within a play. As the mischievous fairy Puck runs around with the demands of the fairy king Oberon to put love juice in unsuspecting eyes of the fairy queen and unsuspecting mortals, things go awry. Sounds sick... but it’s a comedy.
What did I experience?
I’ve never been to Theatre 80 before which was a small intimate space. It was a chill environment.
So the thing with Shakespeare is this - things (story, characters, etc) are huge, grandiose and other large synonym-like adjectives. The main mortals Helena and Hermia are in love with Lysander and Demetrius. Lysander and Demetrius only have eyes for Hermia leaving Helena feeling inadequate. All the poor girl wants is Lysander’s love and has worked tirelessly to get it. And eventually she does win his love...and Demetrius’ love. But it comes so suddenly I can completely understand her reaction to think they’re just playing a cruel joke on her. It wouldn’t be normal not to question the whole ordeal... which literally happens overnight, because you know, Shakespeare.
I basically cried of laughter at the confusion that ensued once Lysander and Demetrius fell head-over-heels in love with Helena. Having the guys mimic each other's actions to try to woo her was genius. Oh and in the end the mischievous Puck makes everyone think it’s a dream. Hence the title A Midsummers Nights DREAM. I reluctantly admit I had never made that connection when reading the play and that moment of connection for me was awesome - so... better late than never.
Now to the philosophical stuff that I began to question once I left the theatre.
Can you imagine waking up and being completely content with everything in your life? You know like the guy you’ve been tirelessly chasing to no avail saying he is in love with you after telling you he hates you forever, but that’s like a really really specific example.
If everything is perfect what propels us to move forward? Do we get stuck in the same routine? I mean in the end of this play everyone ends up happy, but at the expense of thinking the past proceedings were just their minds playing tricks on them. Is it all just dismissed because they thought it was a dream?
I wondered how the show would have ended if Puck never made them think they were just dreaming. AND hold on, even if this was a so-called “dream” none of the characters realize they dreamt the same thing. THE SAME THING DOWN TO EVERY LAST DETAIL. But everyone ended up happy. Right? But it took a lot of pain and confusion before they got there. People always say be careful what you wish for out of fear that their wishes will be taken literally or not turn out how they expected. Why doesn’t anyone ever wonder about the journey to getting that wish? Is that not just as important as the wish itself? So maybe that’s what we’re meant to get out of it...or maybe not. Who knows?
We blink and we’re at another point in our lives, maybe it all just is a dream. A very lucid, very real dream and we’ll wake up and everything will be okay.