There are many tales and myths surrounding human like beings with wings known as the fey. My first introduction to the faery court was while reading the play A Midsummer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare. The play reveals how the fey interact with humans on the night of the Summer Solstice.
The Faery Tale
The story focuses around two couples Hermia and Lysander and Helena and Demetrius. They enter the woods where the faery court is visiting the mortal world. The King and Queen of the fey are having an argument over the fate of an Indian Prince. The King seeks to win the argument by tricking the Queen. The King also wishes to teach the mortals a lesson leading to the confusion and mix up of love between the two couples.
Puck is the jester for the faery King Oberon, who’s task is to spread the juice of a magical flower over the eyelids of those sleeping, hence making them fall in love with the first person they see. Most of the play he is trying to correct the mistakes he made while using the flower.
Titania is the Queen of the Faeries. She is in a disagreement with her husband about making an Indian Prince into a Knight of the Fey.
Herminia is in love with Lysander but her father demands she marries Demetrius. Theseus gives her until his wedding day to make a choice though to go against her father will force her to join a convent or face death.
Helena is in love with Demetrius and were betrothed until he abandons her after meeting Hermia.
Lysander is in love with Hermia but is denied marrying her due to his status. He plans to run away with Hermina to avoid being punished for his actions.
Demetrius is arranged to marry Hermina who he follows into the woods when they try to flee Athens.
Theseus is the King of Athens and is going to get married to the Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta. His wedding marks a large celebration and the date where Herminia must choose the man she will marry.
A Midsummer’s Night Dream was the first play I read and enjoyed by the British playwriter, William Shakespeare. Like many school children, I was informed we would be reading Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, so I wanted to prepare myself by reading other forms of his work.
I found the story entertaining and enjoyed the idea that it was a play within a play. I would rate this a seven out of ten being the one play I can read numerous times. I found it humorous that Puck’s use of a magical flower had multiple targets throughout the play causing chaos and confusion. That his targets were moth mortal and of the fey. I didn’t enjoy the romance part of the play, but I will admit that it played a large part in the play.
Furthermore, the story focuses on two mortal couples and the fey King and Quern toying with the concept that true love can conquer any problems in life. Shakespeare explores how couples face relationship problems before and during marriage even those in the magical community. Yet the fact that the event takes place on the summer solstice revealing the fey to mortal eyes. Showing how the Seelie court works and that even with a night full of pranks they are merely teaching the mortals a lesson and, in some cases, even those pulling the prank fall for their own traps.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read,