Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: HELP - Which Forest in Midsummer Night's Dream...?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    3

    HELP - Which Forest in Midsummer Night's Dream...?

    Hi all, this goes out to you hardcore Shakespeare friends. In real life Athens, which forest do you believe is the Magical forest from Midsummer Night's Dream? There's no mention of a name in the Literature, trying to see if anyone has researched this and found out from outside sources. The only hint in the lit is a sentence saying it is 3 miles outside of Athens. Would love to hear what everyone thinks.

  2. #2
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    trapped in a prologue.
    Posts
    2,383
    Blog Entries
    7
    In worrying about this, you miss the point of the play entirely.

    Let's compare Dream to a more "realistic" play that utilizes the "green space". In Merchant of Venice you have two spaces - Venice and Belmont. Belmont is meant to be the green space - where the cruel business world is transformed into a place of excess, feasting. Now, there are no faeries in Belmont, and no magic either. To say that Belmont could exist as it does in the play is a fair assessment. So many have tried to place where Belmont is exactly. My favourite interpretation is one that places it in what is called Villa Fuscari.

    Now back to Dream. Like Merchant dream shifts between two spaces - Athens and the Forest. Again, one place represents the cruel patriarchal order (Athens) and the other the anarchy of freedom (The Forest). But unlike Belmont, the dream-like state of the Forest - and thus its non-existence in a real world - is key.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    3
    No no, I ask because I want to go visit it in person. Wasn't trying to get any type of literary, metaphoric analysis. Literally just want to know, based on context clues or outside sources, if anyone knows or can dileneate which real life forest it's most likely to have been set in around Athens.



    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    In worrying about this, you miss the point of the play entirely.

    Let's compare Dream to a more "realistic" play that utilizes the "green space". In Merchant of Venice you have two spaces - Venice and Belmont. Belmont is meant to be the green space - where the cruel business world is transformed into a place of excess, feasting. Now, there are no faeries in Belmont, and no magic either. To say that Belmont could exist as it does in the play is a fair assessment. So many have tried to place where Belmont is exactly. My favourite interpretation is one that places it in what is called Villa Fuscari.

    Now back to Dream. Like Merchant dream shifts between two spaces - Athens and the Forest. Again, one place represents the cruel patriarchal order (Athens) and the other the anarchy of freedom (The Forest). But unlike Belmont, the dream-like state of the Forest - and thus its non-existence in a real world - is key.
    Last edited by Scrundles; 03-11-2013 at 12:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Posts
    4,161
    Blog Entries
    25
    Shakespeare had likely never been to Greece, or knew anything about the surroundings of Athens, nor would any woods outside Athens from the Early Modern period be likely to survive until today. It's important to note that not only is the forest in the play a mythical, magical place, but the Athens of the play is a mythical one ruled over by Theseus.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

  5. #5
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    trapped in a prologue.
    Posts
    2,383
    Blog Entries
    7
    Well, good luck to you as you try to find the forest. Let me know if you stumble upon Illyria along the way.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    3
    There's actually three national forests around/outside of Athens - they very likely would have been around, as they are sprawling national parks/mountain ranges - both of which are capable of enduring anything shy of an ice age. Just wondering if anyone's heard anything biographical about shakespeare that might lead one to believe it was one forest over the next.


    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    Shakespeare had likely never been to Greece, or knew anything about the surroundings of Athens, nor would any woods outside Athens from the Early Modern period be likely to survive until today. It's important to note that not only is the forest in the play a mythical, magical place, but the Athens of the play is a mythical one ruled over by Theseus.

  7. #7
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Posts
    4,161
    Blog Entries
    25
    I suspect you greatly overestimate the population of Athens circa 1600. The municipal area of Athens today contains 3 million people, during Shakespeare's time Athens was a small walled city of a few thousand people. The city has certainly eclipsed anything that was on its outskirts at the time. (This besides the fact that the Athens of the play is a mythical Athens that has no bearing on any place in the real world)
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

  8. #8
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    In one of the branches of the multiverse, but I don't know which one.
    Posts
    7,030
    Blog Entries
    471
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    Well, good luck to you as you try to find the forest. Let me know if you stumble upon Illyria along the way.
    I can direct you to Illyria, if that's where you want to go.

  9. #9
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    trapped in a prologue.
    Posts
    2,383
    Blog Entries
    7
    If you go stumbling through Albania, you will have as much luck finding Illyria as you would the Forest in Dream.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  10. #10
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    In one of the branches of the multiverse, but I don't know which one.
    Posts
    7,030
    Blog Entries
    471
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    If you go stumbling through Albania, you will have as much luck finding Illyria as you would the Forest in Dream.
    You would have to even go to Albanisa to find Illyria. The whloe coast of what was Yugoslavia was the Illyrian coast. I believe that the wrod is still used in some places.

  11. #11
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    trapped in a prologue.
    Posts
    2,383
    Blog Entries
    7
    It was a Roman territory, wasn't it?
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

Similar Threads

  1. A Midsummer Night's Dream
    By crazybrat in forum Midsummer Night's Dream
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-26-2017, 08:34 PM
  2. Midsummer Night's Dream
    By byucougs in forum Midsummer Night's Dream
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-05-2009, 01:36 AM
  3. A Midsummer Night's Dream! - very funny!
    By Libra Swords in forum Midsummer Night's Dream
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-16-2007, 06:18 AM
  4. Teaching Midsummer Night's Dream
    By byucougs in forum General Literature
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-23-2006, 11:10 AM
  5. Midsummer Night's Dream
    By Vicki in forum Midsummer Night's Dream
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •