So the month comes to an end… Time to say goodbye to the fairies, the lovers (and the lunatics and poets). And it’s a fond farewell. I’m going to miss this play, especially since I find–at least through the Canon we’ve read thus far in the Project–Midsummer to have leapt to the top of my list of faves, both as a comedy AND overall. It’s musical, lyrical, comical… it’s got woods and lovers and fairies… it’s got escapes, fools who speak wisdom, and a mixture of social strata. And it has a man with an ass’s head.
c’mon… does it get any better than that?
Sure, there’s that whole Demetrius thing that many critics feel, but you know (or should by now) how I feel about that.
And it’s got Pyramus and Thisby. The story of lovers separated by the hate of their parents, and with their deaths, the feud between the families is over.
We know that A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet were written around the same time (of course, different critics have different chronologies, some with R&J first, others with Midsummer first… some with them back to back, some with a play in between).
Could it be that making fun of a classic tale of tragic lovers made Shakespeare want to take a crack at writing it for real?
Could it be that in writing Romeo and Juliet, he saw just way too many ways to make it funny, and satirized his own work in Pyramus and Thisby?
We’ll never know… but it’s fun to think about the possibilities.