Cutting Shakespeare Short

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Far more erudite and scholarly examinations of Shakespeare’s play Midsummer’s Night Dream have been executed, I am sure–but here are a couple of writerly observations I made in my listening to a dramatized audio of this play which was probably written just prior to the turn of the seventeenth century.

  1. The light and comedic Midsummer’s Night Dream is quite a change in tone from the bloody and horrible Titus Andronicus written by Shakespeare a couple of years earlier.
  2. Shakespeare runs out of plot 3/4 of the way through the play and the rest becomes a meta play within a play, where actors watch actors, pretending to be incompetent actors, pretend to put on a play, and make wry and cutting remarks about their ineptitude.

Shakespeare could have cut MidSummer’s Night Dream short just prior to this play within a play and had a very concise and witty play of about ninety minutes–and one of no less brilliance.

P.S. Yes, I realize Shakespeare is a recognized genius whose plays have lived for 400 years, while my novels are likely destined to languish forever in obscurity. My observations are in no way meant to diminish his masterful vocabulary, use of language or literary immortality.

-Joel Jenkins
Author of Weird Action & Adventure

 

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