May 26 2017

The lunatic, the lover and the poet / Are of imagination all compact:

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

Paraphrase Theseus’ speech at the beginning  Act V, scene i.  

Then, analyze it.  Take your time.  This is a complicated speech.  Explain what you think Shakespeare is really trying to teach the audience member or reader in this speech.

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English, and don’t forget to respond to at least one other classmate’s response in this thread.

MND #5
 
May 25 2017

I am amazed and know not what to say.

First you must read Act III, scene ii all the way through and then comment.

As we have done before, though, I am not providing a prompt for this blog.   Rather, I would like you to create your own conversation here.  You must write a comment either addressing a topic, line, or issue about this scene (or any previous scene) and respond with depth to at least one of your classmates’ blogs.

Let’s continue our class discussions on line and see where the conversation takes us.

Be thou not amazed!

MND blog #4
May 23 2017

The will of man is by his reason sway’d.

Tonight please reread Act II, scene ii of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and then paraphrase and analyze the following lines, which Lysander speaks to Helena.   Consider not only what they mean literally but also what they might have to do with a theme of the play.

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

The will of man is by his reason sway’d;
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Things growing are not ripe until their season
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
And touching now the point of human skill,
Reason becomes the marshal to my will
And leads me to your eyes, where I o’erlook
Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.
MND blog #3
May 22 2017

Fare thee well, nymph.

Tonight, please examine Helena’s statement below:

Your wrongs do set a scandal upon my sex.
We cannot fight for love as men may do.
We should be wooed and were not made to woo. (2.1.247-249)
 

What is her claim?  What specific evidence does she give in this scene?  Do you agree with her? Why or why not?

As always, please follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

MND #2
May 19 2017

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.

 
Tonight, please read Act I, scene i, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (pp. 7-23, rectos only!)   Before you read, however, it would probably be a good idea to look at the summary on p. 6.  

Once you have finished the reading, please paraphrase Helena’s soliloquy below.  Then explain what this reveals about Helena and her experience with love?  What can we all learn from this?  Compare and/or contrast this to the  lessons we learned about love in Romeo and Juliet.

As always, don’t forget to comment on at least one other response in this thread.

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind:
Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy Love is perjured every where:
For ere Demetrius look’d on Hermia’s eyne,
He hail’d down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
 
MND blog #1