Last night in athens want an encounter

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A play set in Athens, Greece, during the twelfth century b. Four Athenian youths, the victims of fairy magic, experience a night of confusion and love in the woods outside the city. The progression toward the well-known democratic model of government in fifth-century classical Athens involved a long and gradual process. Prior to this early democracy, the Mycenaeans, who were early Greek settlers, had established a society based on a royal hierarchy.

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The Mycenaeans ruled primarily in the Peloponnesus, a peninsula of southern Greece that included the towns of Mycenae, Pylos, and Tiryns. In central Greece, Athens and Thebes were the main Mycenaean outposts.

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According to this system of government, Theseus is able to dictate his wishes to his subjects. At one point in the play, for instance, he decides the fate of one of the young female characters—Hermia—with one command. The scarcity of records detailing the names and accomplishments of Mycenaean kings makes it difficult to determine their actual role in the society. The epics of the Greek poet Homer indicate that the relationship between the king and his men was somewhat feudal in nature: The citizens retained control of their land in exchange for a portion of the goods they produced.

Although most archaeological findings provide clues as to the nature of the aristocratic lifestyle, the majority of the Mycenaean citizens were probably of a much lower class. Last night in athens want an encounter free peasants held common plots of land allotted to them by the king. At the lowest end of the social scale resided the slave population. Women in ancient Greece were expected to bear male children for the community, which relied on such offspring to replenish their warrior ranks. Her rights were limited, however. Fathers might arrange a marriage to bond two powerful families together or, according to tales by Homer about the time, a man might capture a bride for himself or win her in a contest.

It is evident that most women in ancient Greek society were inferior in status to their husbands. Both royal and slave women depended on the men, and in daily life the two types of women performed similar household tasks. Shakespeare found his Theseus character in the s of classical folklore.

After his son has been killed by the Athenians, King Minos of Crete demands that the city send seven youths and seven maidens every year or every nine years, depending on the source as food for the Minotaur, a half-bull and half-human monster. Theseus sails to Crete to battle the monster. Her love for Theseus proves valuable to the warrior in his encounter with the Minotaur. Armed with this tool, Theseus is able to slay the monster and find his way out of the labyrinth. He begins his voyage back to Athens, which has been liberated from the threat of the Minotaur by his bravery.

Unfortunately, the young warrior forgets a promise he made to his father Aegeus or Egeus when he departed—that he would al a victorious expedition by raising white flags on his returning ship. After seeing the black flags on the incoming vessel, Aegeus draws the mistaken conclusion that Theseus was defeated and throws himself into the sea in grief. The body of water in which he drowned himself thus became known as the Aegean Sea.

Theseus, the legend concludes, succeeds his father to the Athenian throne and rules for many years. According to mythology, Pyramus was a young Babylonian youth in love with his neighbor, Thisbe. Because their parents forbade their marriage, they had to communicate with each other through a wall that separated their properties. One night they agreed to hold a clandestine meeting at the mulberry tree near the tomb of Ninus.

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Thisbe, the first to arrive, was frightened away by a lion whose bloody jaws bore the remains of a fresh kill. As she fled, however, she dropped her veil, and it was subsequently shredded by the lion. The heartbroken young man then took his own life with his sword. Thisbe returned to find her dead lover and killed herself with the same sword.

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Because their blood stained the nearby mulberry tree, its fruit was changed from white to crimson. The Amazons were a group of warrior women who, according to legend, lived east of Athens in Asia Minoracross the Aegean Sea. Their society was limited to warrior women and female children and was ruled by Queen Hippolyta. Legends of the Bronze Age describe a of battles between male heroes and the Amazons. The male warriors ultimately win all these encounters, and the various s of the story of Theseus and Hippolyta are no different. One version tells of an attack led by Theseus against the Amazons.

Defeating the warrior women, Theseus and Hippolyta are kidnaps her.

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The Amazons retaliate by attacking Athens but are driven back. Other s maintain that the queen accompanies Theseus willingly. All stories agree that Theseus later takes a second wife, Phaedra, who is Greek. Some s say that after being discarded for another woman, Hippolyta attacks her husband at his wedding feast only to be killed by a guest.

But others contend that she gave her life in defense of Theseus or was slain by Hercules. As the curtain rises, the audience finds Theseus, the Duke of Athens, anxiously awaiting his marriage to Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. A conflict is quickly revealed when Egeus, an Athenian citizen, beseeches Theseus to reprimand his daughter Hermia.

The distraught father explains that, although the girl has been betrothed to a young man named Demetrius, she wishes to marry Lysander. While both men seek her hand in marriage, the choice of a husband does not rest with Hermia, but with her father. The young girl, though, decides to elope with Lysander and reveals the plan to Helena, her best friend.

Helena, however, is in love with Demetrius. The skit is based on the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbebut in the bumbling hands of these actors the drama becomes a comedy. This glimpse of the mechanicals establishes them as comic characters whose antics will affect the course of the play. Hermia and Lysander, meanwhile, escape into an area of woods that houses a community of fairies.

Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies, reign here. But Oberon and Puck also overhear an argument between Helena and Demetrius. Afterward, Puck comes across the mechanicals as they practice their performance. The mischievous Puck alters one of the actors, Bottom, so that he possesses the head of an ass. The attempt to drug Demetrius fails, however. Oberon realizes that an error was made and drops the juice into the eyes of Demetrius, creating a situation where both Demetrius and Lysander now love Helena instead of Hermia.

The lovesick fairy queen Titania receives a remedy as well. Because Demetrius was never remedied of his love for Helena, the two couples appeal to Theseus to take back his ultimatum that Hermia should marry Demetrius. The king consents, and the couples plan for their weddings. At the same time, Bottom awakens from his ass-like state, believing that he too has had a fantastic dream. He quickly finds the other mechanicals to practice the play they are to perform at the approaching wedding feast.

From the onset, the expectation of a union between the individuals is apparent. In addition, Elizabethan audiences would not accept a romantic comedy in which all couples were not happily matched by the close of the curtain. Shakespeare hints to his audience early in the drama that they need not worry. Her suggestion of equality instills in the viewer a desire for both girls to marry their respective loves. The play concludes with Demetrius still under the influence of the magical flower nectar.

In order for the union between this character and Helena to work, he must remain under the spell of this power. He is, indeed, the only character who does still sleep. Because of the centrality of the wedding theme, it is possible that Shakespeare composed the play with a specific marriage in mind—perhaps the marriage of Elizabeth Carey and Thomas Berkeley on February 19, Metamorphoses is a collection of more than two hundred Greek myths and legends. Included are elements such as the character of Theseus, the Pyramus and Thisbe myth, and concepts of physical transformation.

In drawing on Metamorphoses, Shakespeare used a ificant work. Shakespeare was also influenced by English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. The cast of fairies can also be traced to several sources. This in turn allowed for a surge in fairy stories. Many English households blamed minor mishaps or lost possessions on the work of fairy magic. In old English society the name Robin Good-fellow, or Puck, represented the figure of a mischievous spirit.

He belonged to the second of four fairy classes: 1 trooping fairies, 2 hobgoblins, 3 mermaids, and 4 giants, monsters, or hags. Prior to the sixteenth century, fairies were considered to be of average or above-average human stature. Last night in athens want an encounter small size of later English fairies can be directly attributed to the inventions of Shakespeare. Quickly adopted by other writers, this notion of miniature size eventually Last night in athens want an encounter into national folklore.

From her ascent to the throne in to her death inQueen Elizabeth I ruled England with a political genius that few monarchs before her had possessed. Although she has been described as difficult, pompous, and strong-willed, Elizabeth identified herself wholly with her nation. Unmarried, she used her single status to play her suitors off one another and do her bidding.

Eventually Elizabeth would confess that England was her only spouse.

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She became totally identified with the nation and left it independent and united, though she had no heirs. For the population of England, Elizabeth was the ultimate, unattainable love. During her reign, royal patronage support for select individuals favored by the queen reached new heights.

Elizabeth transformed local noblemen and gentry into advisors known as courtiers who depended on her favor to prosper. Still, she won an allegiance that few monarchs have equaled. In acknowledgement of her rate, the second half of the s came to be known as the Elizabethan Age. It still seems to have labored under certain obligations to the court, however, including the production of two new plays each year—a comedy and a tragedy or historical play. Both comedy and tragedy were composed of a mixture of classical and medieval traditions. Developed from earlier Latin models, comedies of the Elizabethan era involved the lives of noblemen, and their often romantic plots centered around confusion over love.

While the fairy nobles and the Athenian court members all speak in blank verse in the drama, the mechanicals speak only in prose. Aside from this, little is known, as is true of most dramatic productions prior to the Commonwealth period that began in The popular comedy has been regularly staged over the years.

Last night in athens want an encounter

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