Sonnet number one hundred sixteen and number one hundred thirty provide a good look at what Shakespeare himself defines as love. The former describes the ever-enduring nature of true love, while the latter gives an example of this ideal love through the description of a woman who many call the Dark Lady. Through the combination of these two sonnets Shakespeare provides a consistent picture of what love should be like in order to bear it out even to the edge of doom(116, Ln: 12). To me the tern maker used by Sir Philip Sidney to describe the poets first and foremost duty would refer to the creation process, which produces the end text.
The discourse of the poet is to take an emotion or event they up to that point was purely felt, and make it into flowing words, which in turn reproduce the initial emotion. The poet is therefore a maker of poems as well as emotion. This emotion would not be present however if the poet were not human experiencing the ups and downs of everyday life. Therefore I feel that the poet is first and foremost human, and therefore susceptible to human needs, feelings, and emotions, and secondly a maker.
In Sonnet number one-hundred sixteen Shakespeare deals with the characteristics of a love that is not times fool, that true love that will last through all (Ln: 9). This sonnet uses the traditional Shakespearian structure of three quatrains and a couplet, along with a standard rhyme scheme. The first and third quatrains deal with the idea that love is an ever-fixed mark, something that does not end or change over time (Ln: 5). Shakespeare illustrates this characteristic of constancy through images of love resisting movement and time in the first quatrain.
To Shakespeare Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds, / or bends with the remover to remove(Ln: 2-4). Love is something that does not change when it finds and alteration in the object of its affection. Love merely adapts or does not notice these alterations at all. The second quatrain compares loves stability to a star fixed in the sky, the star to every wandering bark, / Whos worths unknown, although his height be taken (Ln: 7-8). The third quatrain again shows the consistency of love through imagery concerning the passage of time.
With the lines: Love is not times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks/ Within his bending sickles compass come Shakespeare comments on the blindness of this ideal love (Ln: 9-10). Time, although it may be able to fade someones physical appearance, cannot touch love. Love is immortal and unchanging regardless of any effect time would have on ones physical appearance. The couplet changes in tone from the rest of the sonnet. In contrast to the descriptive images used to catalogue the virtues of love, the couplet is a stern straightforward set of words. Sonnet one hundred thirty describes a woman that Shakespeare loves.
His descriptions of both this woman, and what he loves about her comply with the standards he has set forth in sonnet one hundred sixteen. It seems as though Shakespeare is almost playing it safe by loving this woman. The cheeks and lips, which are portrayed in the previous sonnet as something, which will fade with time, are not at all the basis of Shakespeares affection. The fact that Shakespeare uses the words: Coral is far more red than her lips red to describe her physical appearance shows that he is not concerned with the level of her outward beauty.
Shakespeare lists ideals in physical appearance, which his mistress does not meet throughout the whole sonnet. Still in the couplet he states that his love for this woman is more than anyone else could ever give her. It is a pure love, not in danger of falling to the effects of change or time. The situations found in the plot of William Shakespeares comedy, A Midsummer Nights Dream reinforce Sir Philip Sidneys definition of what a comedy is. The groups of characters and their misfortunes are portrayed in such a ridiculous fashion that one would have to be insane to wish for their luck.
The initial problem of whom Hermia was to marry is not the sole hurdle she and Lysander must overcome. While the issue of Hermias marriage to Demetrius could have been the topic of the whole play its self, Shakespeare complicates this situation beyond recognition. Helena commits what Sir Philip Sidney would call one of the common errors of our life. Helena gives into jealousy, and subsequently brings Demetrius into the woods in an attempt to win him over. This jealousy, which everyone in their lives has experienced, is what caused all four of the young Athenians to be in the woods at the same time.
What follows is a train of misfortunate events, which one cant help but laugh at out of joy that it is not they in that situation. The act of entering the woods to rehearse a play in seclusion proves shocking and anything but ordinary when Puck plays his joke on Bottom. Shakespeare places his characters under these initially normal conditions, and proceeds to play a cruel, yet entertaining joke on them. Shakespeare uses the faeries is the main catalyst of events once all have entered the woods.
Together, Oberon and Puck manage to affect the lives of all who enter their woods that night in a dramatically comical way. The common errors of our life are all the material that the two faeries need to create this chaos. Michael Hoffmans 1999 production of A Midsummers Night Dream did a wonderful job in portraying events in the most ridiculous and scornful sort. While the text of the play conveys the ridiculousness of events such as Bottom, ass’ ears and all, winning over the complete adoration of Titania the Faerie Queen: to see it performed is always another thing.
The casting for this film was for the most part a nice fit. Rupert Everett played an excellent, somewhat cocky and devious Faerie King. The remaining characters were almost perfectly with the exception of Michelle Phieffer. I cannot think of anyone that could surpass her ability to visually play the part of a Fairy Queen but. Unfortunately the costumes and makeup could not cover up the fact that she cannot smoothly speak the prose found in this play. If I had a choice I would like to see Nicole Kidman play this role with possibly more elaborate staging for the realm of the faeries.
The technology of today made it possible for me to view a digitally enhanced enchanted forest rather than a stage with a few props. This fact that the faeries could turn into light and fly off gave an enhanced sense of how easily they moved amongst the people to work their magic. By watching Helena and Hermia wrestle in mud, and the foolishness of Titania in love with Bottom, one cant help but laugh. True to the form of a comedy, everything works out, the faeries apologize, and you have had a few laughs by the time it is done.