A Midsummer Night's Dream

It is Theater

Theatre began as a presentation of stories and ideas, mostly revolving around festival times in the calendar of the church year. This concept was carried on in Shakespeare's times and is exemplified in his plays Twelfth Night, or What You Will and A Midsummer Night's Dream. These plays express a "carnival" theme, implying a mixed-up time a time when "anything goes" and many things that would not be tolerated in normal life are easily overlooked and maybe even encouraged. Even though many of the ideas and emotions that occur in Shakespeare's plays are common to everyone, it is still not representational because it does not even attempt to present it in a way that reflects real life. The language is artificial (though beautiful), the sets are sparse, the plots include illogical twists and turns we must simply accept, and the settings themselves are often fantastical.

The theatres where Shakespeare's plays were performed were built according to a common general design. Very briefly, there was a rather large playing area, with a trap door in the center of the stage. This was partially covered by a roof which supported a platform that served as a balcony and, possibly, as seating areas for more...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 972 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7757 literature essays, 2170 sample college application essays, 323 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in