Shakespeare’s Theatricality Essay
When Demetrius and Helena are arguing over whether Lysander is still alive or not Demetrius doesn’t show a variety of emotions the only emotion the audience receive is Anger towards Hermia. “Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty; Yet you, you the murderer, look as bright, as clear, As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere” “I had rather give his carcass to my hounds” Act3 Scene 2. Throughout the lines that Demetrius has to say there is no point where the anger stops.
I would direct it so that he would be angry but at the same time when he pauses there would be the emotion of worry in his voice and in his facial expressions. The character of Demetrius at the beginning of the scene needs to ensure that there is not tom much over emphasis of his lines until he gets to the line “There is no following her in this fierce vein; here therefore for a while I will remain.
So sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow” to make it look more like he was worried about Lysander there would be an over emphasis on the words “so sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow” He would have sadness in his voice and a worried facial expression to ensure that the whole audience understood that although he is trying to make out that he isn’t worried deep down he is showing some emotion, even if it will be short lived until they find him The audience will realise more about the character and what those lines meant.
A point needs to be put across to the audience that when the play was written the people believed in nymphs and took the gods and goddesses, like Venus, seriously. In a modern play we would use gods name in many formats, some religious and some not so religious, The thing that will make the scene and the whole play work is the ability for the audience and actors to understand it fully, if the actors don’t understand it then the audience doesn’t have much of a chance.
In this scene Demetrius is put through a lot of different styles of acting and has to portray a mixture of feelings to the audience, along with that the scene is overridden by a sub-plot in which Puck applies the potion to him. The audience must be able to see what the spell is doing, how it has affected Demetrius and how he has changed “O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine! To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne? ” When the potion is applied the audience needs to see the potion clearly being applied and where it is being applied.
Their needs to be a definite comparison potion being put on the eyes would have to be obvious. An audience would have to be able to believe that the spell has worked and there is something different to Demetrius before he had the lye down. To achieve this I would change a few subtle characteristics of the character such as to change the way he walks and the way he does things and moves around on the stage. When he wakes up I would have him a dozy and dreamy. The audience would be able to see that Demetrius is mesmerised by Helena and have a clear facial expression that Helena is what he wants.
Puck would be in the background, he would be spy on the results of the potion, and he would be looking anxious to find out whether the potion has worked or not. Demetrius will be getting closer to Helena who is getting angry by the fact that she thinks Lysander and Demetrius have been playing here around. The audience should be able to see the irony of what has happened and be able to compare it to further towards the beginning of the play. They will see a mixture of emotions and theatrical devices being used.
The key object of this part of the scene is to communicate and inform the audience that Demetrius is now in love with Helena. If the audience can understand what has happened more clearly it will ensure that the audience can understand and start to think and visualise what might happen next. Demetrius has to defend the comments coming from Lysander about Helena whilst Helena and Hermia are still arguing between themselves there needs to be a barrier that the audience can see being formed during the arguing between the two couples they also need to see another aspect of the character and how the character can react to the situation.
“If she cannot entreat, I can compel” “I would I had your bond, for I perceive a weak bond holds you. I’ll not trust your word”. The lines need to show bitterness between the two couples. I would have Demetrius overemphasising the adjectives, he would circle around and look down upon Lysander and Hermia whilst reading his lines. The audience would be able to feel the tension between the couples and see and feel the anger and spite between them. The audience would be able to anticipate a fight on stage but instead the actors will release their anger when they read their lines out.
Maintaining eye contact between the eye contact would give this part of the scene a more sinister look. Although I am trying to ensure that there is anger in the scene the actors and audience must not forget that the two couples that are arguing are still madly in love. The audience would start to see different sides to the characters and the manipulative and vicious sides to the characters would start to appear; this is a good thing because it will give the audience the chance to see another aspect of the character that they have not yet encountered in the play.
In the last section of the scene it is important that the audience is fully informed of what has happened between the characters and with that knowledge will be able to see the play and know why a certain think is happening. For the end of this scene we have the part now of where all the characters are trying to settle there differences. The audience will be able to see how Demetrius, Helena, Lysander and Hermia have evolved throughout the scene. “No, Sir. She shall not though you take her place” For this line he is making a sarcastic comment towards Lysander.
I would have Demetrius with Helena In his arms looking directly into the eyes of Lysander and have him deliver his line with sarcasm and have a small grin on his face at the end of the line as if to say that I’ve got here you’ve lost. All that he has left to do is to complete his final line towards Demetrius “In her behalf that scorns your services. Let her alone: speak not of Helena, take not here part; for if thou dost intend never so little show of love to her, thou shalt aby it.
” He would deliver his line facing directly towards Helena and really speaking down to her, he would deliver his lines slowly overemphasising on all of the words. The audience would need to see that the characters are trying to settle their differences as best they can and exit off the stage separately. The audience needs to have seen as many different sides to Demetrius from his acting in the scene and have known him more as a person in the scene than an actor.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 12 July 2017
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