This is another great comedy by Shakespeare with lots of pretty speeches that remind me of some of my favorite works. I believe Charlotte Brontë had one of Lysander’s speeches in mind when she described Rochester’s feelings towards Jane: “[M]y heart unto yours is knit, so that but one heart we can make of it: Two bosoms interchained with an oath; so then, two bosoms, and a single troth.” I also thought that Hermia’s dream had a sort of Jane Eyre
quality to it as well: “Ah me, for pity!—what a dream was here! Lysander, look how I do wake with fear: methought a serpent eat my heart away, and you sat smiling at his cruel prey.” Lots of layers of meaning can be extrapolated from this dream.
I also love the little troupe of play actors… silly humor, but still quite cute.
Even though I do like this play, it was never one of my favorites. In this case, I think it’s a play that’s better read than watched. I was always annoyed by the film versions. Mickey Rooney’s rendition of Puck drove me crazy. And I never really liked that fairly recent version with Rupert Everett, Christian Bale and Calista Flockhart, which was a little too whiny in my opinion. Though I must say that I did like that modern version done in the BBC’s ShakespeaRe-Told
series, starring Sharon Small and Johnny Vegas.