Two ideas really struck me when thinking about posting for the blog, and throughout reading the play.
Firstly, I wanted to consider the most important (and obvious) and reoccurring theme is love, and to develop it further I focused on “love is blind”, many of the characters act “blindly” due to their emotions towards another person.
Helena’s affections towards Demetrius exemplifies this. Helena blindly follows Demetrius around, although he just continuously rejects her. (861) Similarly, Demetrius’ love for Hermia is not returned but he continues to “love” her/pursue her. Hermia and Lysander’s relationship also exemplifies how blind love can be. Hermia is bold and aware of the consequences of defying her father’s wishes of marrying Demetrius. Neither care for the consequences of their actions and believe in love blindly to pursue their happiness. Hermia “blindly” follows Lysander to Athens. (852)
Hermia: In that same place thou hast appointed me
Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee. (177-78)
The same can be said with Titantia and her devotion to the child. (859)
These blind pursuits of love are seen throughout the play and are important to examine. Each character shares a similar devote to another and willing risks whatever consequences may ensue.
It is ironic how love can be changed with the potion, creating a sense of blind loyalty. It is waking up to love and loving who/whatever blindly that also aids in this theme. Titania blindly loves an ass, Demetrius and Lysander change their opinions and love Helena, and all of this is by magical means. Emotions lead characters to act in a “blind” manner, acting in a way that is irrational. This “blind” behavior also depicts a lack of substance in a “loving” relationship. Helena is tormented because she thinks the boys are playing a harsh joke on her. It is odd to think she might act differently if Demetrius had only changed his affections towards her. Love is a highly emotional state and can cause people to act in irrational ways.
Another aspect that stuck in my mind is the adaptations of the play into film and other performances, and how it can be applied to modern society. Thinking of adaptations, I thought it would be comical to consider the play turned into a modern day soap opera or reality television. Contemporary society could easily translate the bizarre love triangles between Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius into an extremely entertaining show.
Modern society loves dramatics; this is seen in reality “trash” tv, dramatic/suspenseful movies, tabloids, etc. I’ve been envisioning how A Midsummer Night’s Dream could easily be a show on MTV or could have parallel “dramatics” as some on the trash that is on tv. “Are You The One?” reminds me of the play in some ways. The show is a competitive game where singles try to find love, while at the same time trying to win money. I could see A Midsummer Night’s Dream being portrayed in a similar manner into a tv show, where finding and keeping love is distorted and
I’m not sure how it fits in with the “rude mechanicals”. However, reality tv comes in all shapes and sizes. So, I think a view of class systems or viewing the lower class in a reality tv version could easily be formed as well. Undercover Boss, American Idol and Keeping Up with the Kardasians all speak to somewhat similar ideas concerning this part of the play. Mostly, American Idol would really fit into what these characters are doing within the play. Competition for wealth and social status is essentially what happens on shows like American Idol and many others. Bottom, and the others, are performing for the wedding and working to show off their talents and ideally change their social status. If you win American Idol something similar happens, you are televised nationwide and could possibly be successful and then hopefully wealthy.
I think the play could easily be adapted to modern society, and viewers would throuoghly enjoy the drama.