”My Mother Said I Never Should” and ”A Midsummer Nights Dream’ Essay
”My Mother Said I Never Should” and ”A Midsummer Nights Dream’
I have been working on the script of both ”My Mother Said I Never Should” and ”A Midsummer Nights Dream’. In this essay I will look at many aspects of both pieces and compare them, mentioning their similarities and their differences.
”My Mother Said I Never Should” was written in 1985 and set from between the 2nd World War and the mid 80’s. ”A Midsummer Nights Dream” was written in the 16th Century and set in whatever time period the reader perceives it. Therefore the two plays are both written in the past but they are different because of the time they are set. This difference is because ”My Mother Said I Never Should” is based within a decade whereas ”A Midsummer Nights Dream” can be set any time period but the story is meant to all be over within the space of one day. Because ”A Midsummer Nights Dream” is set in one day, it unlike ”My Mother Said I Never Should” which jumps between different years in the 1980’s.
There are equal similarities and differences when it comes to the society of the plays. They both show the high status of the mothers involved and alike each other; Margaret and Titania want to keep their children. The family expectations in both the plays re similar because in “‘My Mother Said I Never Should”, Margaret is constantly telling Jackie to work harder and get a good job because she has high expectations of her. In ”A Midsummer Nights Dream” Hermia’s father wants her to marry Lysander and hope for her to fulfill this expectation. The plays are different when it comes to the language and the style of the way the people live, the characters in ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ are more modern that those in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’.
The character is ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ are real characters with real issues, whereas those in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ are less than realistic because they are fairies and are make believe. Because of this, ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ is more realistic because of the issues and the audience can relate and empathize with the problems involved in the play, but in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’, it is a comedy and it is meant to be enjoyed and not understood. The costumes in ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ are normal for that time but in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ they are extravert and something no one would ever wear no matter what time period, this again adds to it’s fantasy.
When talking about the key themes of the plays, they are very comparable. Usually in a scene it is only two people talking at a time and the conversations are very tense and filled with emotion. In both plays they include mothers fighting over a child. Love is the main theme in both of the plays if you look beneath the words and consider subtext. The love in ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ is between Jackie and Margaret despite their fighting and likewise with Titania and Oberon. Along with this love there is also a lot of anger within this love that we see. When it comes to key themes the plays are obviously different because, ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’s’ characters are fairies but are real people in ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’.
The styles of the play are very different but they share the subject of arguing and that the main characters concerned are all drawn in with each other. Unlike ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’, ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ has many characters. But the obvious difference is that one is a comedy and one is a realistic play and they want the audience to feel different emotions if any at all in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ case.
The main obvious difference between the play, which can easily be seen, is the language of the plays. ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ uses modern language, which can be understood completely, whereas ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ uses old English, which means that the audience may loose sight of the plot and get caught up in the language taking away from the enjoyment of the play. Even though this is so, it does not take away the comedy element of the place, which is enjoyed by all.
In conclusion I enjoyed studying these two plays because I was able to go into more depth and read between the lines. This gave me a greater understanding of the plays and will help me with future performances and exams.
When playing the roles myself, I could see how the plays were similar as well as being different. Acting out the pieces the first thing that struck me was how different the language was and in ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ it was harder to understand which made it difficult to use tones and express some emotions without complete understanding of the play. In ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ it was easier and more relaxed to perform as it related more with modern day life and the emotions were very easy and straightforward to understand.
The reactions from the audiences were also very different. In ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ the audience watch with smiles on their faces occasionally smiling where as in ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ the seriousness of the pieces was shown on their expressions. I found that because of much preparation and understanding of the plays before working on them it meant that they could be performed much more easily and gained good criticism.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 10 July 2017
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