AMND ~ Choose one To Write

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Students, choose one of the writing prompts below to reflect on. One extremely well-written paragraph (letter format prompt 1) which includes opening and concluding sentences and lots of details. What you write should include facts from the play and reflect upon what you know about the story so far.

1. Imagine that you live in Athens at the time this play occurs. Write a letter to Duke Theseus stating your opinion of the law that gives fathers the power of life and death over their children.

2. Write an advice to the lovelorn column in which you suggest solutions to the problems of Oberon and Titania or Helena and Demetrius.

3. Imagine you are Quince and write a journal entry describing your troupe’s rehearsal in the woods.

90 comments

  1. Dear Journal,

    Our rehearsal today went really well. We met in the woods to rehearse “The most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.” Everyone did exactly as told, but Nick Bottom was asking for more lines even though I offered the role of Pyramus to him. We decided to tell the audience that there would be no killing and the lion would not be real in the play. We would not want the audience feel uncomfortable, especially the duke, on the duke’s wedding day. It will be a challenge to set up the play so the duke likes it. The moonlight scene is going to be a real challenge performing in a room with a small amount of windows. This would be a huge accomplishment if we finish in time.

    Wishing for the best of luck, Peter

  2. Dear Duke Theseus,

    I am writing to you as the representative of Hermia daughter of Egeus your loyal subject. You may remember when Egeus quoted ancient Athenian law whereby a daughter must marry the suitor chosen by her father or face death. At that time you offered Hermia the option of worshiping the goddess Dianna as a chaste nun or marrying Demetrius as per her father’s wishes. My client and I would like to challenge this this archaic and obsolete law. All of Athens knows that the punishment under this law hasn’t been applied in 100 years. What loving father wishes the death of his daughter for disobeying a terrible law? A law that ignores the rights women who are directly affected by their fathers decision. After all Egeus doesn’t have to live with the guy does he? I say any father that tries to force his right isn’t a loving father so isn’t entitled to make this decision. Hermia doesn’t want to marry Demetrius or be a nun she also wishes to keep her life. All Hermia wants to do is marry Lysander who is an upstanding young gentleman who she loves very much. Unfortunately, Demetrius does in fact love Hermia, but that is his problem. It is time modern Athens eliminates a flawed and obsolute ancient law!

    Best Regards,

    Owen McLaughlin, Esq
    Law Office of Dewey, Cheatem & Howe

  3. Duke Theseus,

    I write to you with all due respect. I will not name any names so that the people in this predicament stay safe. It has come to my attention that a father will not let his daughter marry the one she loves, but another man. There is also a law stating that fathers have the right to choose their daughter’s husband. This law is totally insane. People should be able to choose who they want to marry. The person you marry is the person you will spend the rest of your life with. Therefore, fathers should not be able to choose who their daughter spends the rest of her life with. Once she is older, she will not live with her parents and will have to make decisions on her own. Parents can’t expect to do everything for their kid once they are older. Parents should think about how much they love each other. Then they should think about how their kid must feel. If parents love each other then their kid should be able to love who they want to as well. Also, this father is willing to take his daughter to court saying that she will marry the boy he has chosen or she will die. The father is willing to kill his child. If the father will kill his child, then he has no right to be a father. A father should be loving and caring. Whenever his daughter has a problem, he should be there for her. Instead, he is forcing her to marry someone she doesn’t love or die. This law should be changed as soon as possible. The longer this is a law, the more relationships will be destroyed. Please stop the suffering.

    Best Regards,

    Sir Chase Rutan

  4. Dear Diary,

    I think last night went fairly well. Except for that brat, Bottom, of course. That hog wanted to steal all of the roles, and didn’t care what anyone else had to say. It took some clever persuasion on my part to finally convince Bottom to do what he was supposed to. I mean, I’m the leader after all. Who does he think he is? Oh well. Anyways, I assigned Flute the role of Thisbe, but he argued that his incoming beard would interfere with his female part. I worked this predicament out, too. Then I assigned the lion part to Snug, who responded by informing me that it takes him a long time to memorize lines. Is he kidding me? All he has to do is a stupid roar! It seems as if the only two manageable people that I have to work with are Snout and Robin Starveling, who haven’t caused any trouble whatsoever so far. Although my companions may be paranoid and, at times, quite frustrating and make my nights agonizingly stressful, we worked diligently during our practices once we got the parts down. Hopefully this secret play will be admired by Duke Theseus and his fair Queen Hippolyta, and I am honored to be such a large part of the play. Hopefully none of these knuckleheads will mess it up for us.

    Sincerely,
    Peter Quince

  5. Dear Jurnal,

    Meeting up this time everyone managed to get there. It was going very smoot until we go to the part with a wall being involved a bunch of different ideas came out and pretty much a of them were no good. One was to hold up two fingers and whisper between them and one was to get hole entire wall into the theater. I have no idea what to do yet but at least we all know our lines. But bottom was not being quiet. He wanted all the parts and the others barley talked. One big problem is everyone thinks the ladies are going to be scared at the death and lion parts so the final agreement was to say, “I’m not going to kill myself I’m just an actor” in the prolog and right be fore a roar say, “don’t be scared.” I still don’t know how it’s going to work out. Today not much was accomplished except bickering.

    Confused,

    P. Quince

  6. Dear Diary,

    Today we had rehearsal in the woods. It was a disaster! Everybody was running all over the place and I couldn’t seem to get it exactly how I wanted it. I’m so nervous for the performance! I don’t have a clue how it will turn out! It seemed as if everybody had something negative to say about their parts in the play. For example, Nick Bottom was trying to persuade me to let him play every single part I brought up. I assigned him the part of Pyramus but he didn’t seem to be content with that part until I finally convinced him that it would be fine! On top of that, Flute didn’t want to play the part of Thisbe because Thisbe is a woman. He was complaining that he was growing a beard and he could never portray the part of a woman! Finally I got everybody to be happy with the parts that they got and we rehearsed the play a couple times before it was too late. I’m so nervous for the wedding! I hope all goes as planned and everything goes well! Wish me luck, I’ll need it!

    -Quince

  7. Dear Duke Theseus,

    I am an Athenian and have heard of the news revolving around Hermia and her father, Egeus. I am extremely appalled about what she must do! I very strongly disagree with the rule stating that the father has full right over their daughter. I believe everyone is their own person and can make decisions for him or herself. I believe that Egeus has no right to tell Hermia whom she must marry. If Hermia is deeply in love with Lysander, she should marry him. I don’t think that Egeus should make his daughter marry someone who she does not love. Hermia’s only choices are to marry Demetrius, become a nun, or die! Die! Why would a father give his daughter the option to die? I believe if a father loved his daughter, he would allow her to marry whom ever she wanted, whether he approved or not. I support Hermia’s decision to run away one hundred percent! I would do the same thing. I mean the girl is in love isn’t she? Let her be for pete’s sake! I believe that the law must be changed. Please think of it as if you were Hermia. What would you do if you were she? I hope you take my thoughts into consideration.

    Yours truly,
    Sophie

  8. Dear journal,

    Today was some-what productive. I gave out all the parts for the play Snout, Bottom, Starveling, Snug,Flute and I are putting on at Duke Theseus’s wedding. “The Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe.” Everyone was okay with the parts they were given, except Nick Bottom. He kept trying to get every part in the play! Every time i assigned someone else a new part he tried to act out that part, and show me why he was perfect for it. I had to give him reasons why he was “too good” for the other parts. I assigned him the part of Pyramus and after some persuading he agreed to it. Then when I assigned Flute the part of Thisbe he complained that he was growing a beard, and couldn’t play a woman. I then informed him that he would wear a mask that would cover his entire face making his beard invisible. All the other men were cooperative, and had no problems with there parts. Other than those minor issues I think this is going well. We have a nice clearing in the woods where we can practice for the performance, and a good play to perform for the Duke and Duchess.

    Until next time,

    Peter Quince

  9. Oberon and Titania, you guys should stop fighting over the poor Indian boy. For Oberon, you should stop being jealous and just let Titania have the Indian boy. It was her friends and she said that if anything happened to her that she would like Titania to have the boy. So you guys should make up and say your sorry and let Titania have the boy. She is your wife! Do whats right and let her have it. Everything could be back to the way it used to be and all of the seasons could be back to normal.
    Titania, you should have the right to have the boy. Just talk the situation over with Oberon and I am sure he will understand. I think that he must be jealous that you are just giving the child more attention then him. So just talk it over and say that your sorry for leaving him and ignoring him.

  10. Dear Duke Theseus,

    I have always been very loyal to you, and have always believed in the laws that have been enforced over the years. There is one law that, to me, isn’t very fair to the citizens of Athens, specifically the children. That law is the one that states that fathers should have complete ownership over their children. In this letter, I will give you a couple of reasons that say that this rule should be erased forthwith. First, children are known to be quite finicky when it comes to a lot of things, including the person that they will spend the rest of their days with. The children should be able to make a their own choice when choosing a mate. Second, you should also keep in mind that not everyone can be suited for each other. Two people can be friends, but they may not always be suited to marry each other. Third, the parents may not make the best of choices when it comes to their children’s love life. They don’t always know who will make their child happy. Finally, people, especially children, may need to make their own decisions in order to mature and become responsible adults. Thank you in advance for listening to my requests about this rule and possibly re-evaluating it.

    Sincerely,

    A Concerned Citizen

  11. Dear Journal,

    The rehearsal went well today every one got there parts. As usual bottom want more parts, but he did not ask as much as munch as before. We decided on to add to prologues today because bottom said the ladies would be afraid when they saw him get killed and, also when they saw the lion but other that it was good. Oh, but I forgot the most bizarre thing in the woods when we were practicing bottom turned into a donkey.

    Sincerely,
    Quince

  12. Dear Duke Theseus,

    I have been very annoyed lately because many of my good friends, that are girls, have been being forced to marry boys that their dads think are right for them. Which is causing them to be really mean and take their anger out on me. And now the girl that I have been in love with for four years, but couldn’t marry me because her dad didn’t want her to, is now getting married to the boy who is an archrival to my family. And this issue is exactly why I am writing to you today. I think your law about how dads have control over whom their daughter marries is dumb. People’s lives would be so much easier if they had the choice whether or not they wanted to marry. I do not think is fair because you become controlled. Your father has the choice of whether or not you’re happy. Now I know sometimes the father chooses the man the daughter loves but most of the time is doesn’t work that way. So Duke please change the law so that everyone has their own choice to marry that they want. It would make everyone’s lives so much easier.
    Thank You,
    Sir Cameron III

  13. Dear Duke Theseus,

    As a citizen of Athens I do not agree with such a law for which children are to be killed if they do not agree with their father on who they choose for them to marry. Why do I disagree with this? Because it doesn’t satisfy anyone. If children don’t like who their father chooses for them to marry, then they are automatically unhappy. This as well makes the father unhappy because a good father should love his children and want them to feel happy for what he does for them. How do resolve this? By making the law have less boundary. Make the father give his children multiple choices to find out who he or she wants to marry the most. If the child chooses none of them, make the punishment less harsh. Why would any father want a member of their own family to die just because of a disagreement? Yes, I do agree that the father is the head of the family and should choose how their family operates, but eventually people need to learn to make their own choices in life. They need to learn who they love on their own. Having someone else choose who you will love for the rest of your life doesn’t mean that you love them. It means they love them. What I’m trying to say is that some choices can be made by whoever is in charge of you, but we are our own person and we can choose who we want to be with.

    Sincerely,
    Carter

  14. Dear Oberon and Tatinna,
    Liviy loves you is back to give more love and other problems figured out. So, I hear that you both have been fighting over an Indean boy. Not the weirdest columns I wrote about but it is up their! Their is a lt of things rolling out in this discussion. Love, jealousy, and promises. Oberon, you have to get it in your head that you can’t get everything you want. Loving Tatinna promised to a young women that she would take care of a young Indian boy and she will keep it. She spends most of her time a day tending him and caring for him like a mother should do. I can see and tell that you are jealous because she isn’t spending that time with you, but she’s doing that to help someone in need. Because of your worthless fighting, nature is completely opposite. I say that you should split up time equally for each of you and the rest of the time with each other. Hope my advice works.

    With love,
    Olivia Ann

  15. Dear Duke Theseus,
    This is a very big predicament. The law states that the father of a daughter must choose whom the daughter must love. If one won’t love the one that is chosen, then one must become a nun or die. I understand that you made this law to prevent heartbreak and sorrow, but u never gave people the chance to find true love. I respect you in every kind of way, but it is not fair how my father gets to decide whom I marry. It is my future, not my fathers. All parents want their daughters to be happy, but if you do not change this law then you will have very unhappy, upset people in Athens. Think of how it would make you feel if you were a girl who loved a man, but your father made you love another person. Wouldn’t it make you feel angry? Thank you for taking the time to reading my letter.

    Sincerely,
    Zoe Gries

  16. Father,

    I love you, and I do not wish to define you, but the man you want me to marry is not the one that I love, I love Lysander, and want to marry him. Probably by the time your reading this letter I will no longer be in Athens, I will probably be in the woods with Lysander. I’m very sorry for defining your orders, but I love Lysander with all my heart. Father, please look at this from my eyes I really love Lysander, but I don’t love Demetrius I don’t want to marry Demetrius. I do not understand the law of Athens? I hope you will understand father, and hope you have a good time at your wedding father.

    Love, Hermia

  17. Dear Journal,

    Peter Quince here, the days performance was decent, but nothing too special. Everyone met in the woods today to practice out performance of, “The Most Cruel Death Of Pyramus And Thisbe.” Unfortunately, even after I gave Nick Bottom the part of Pyramus, he still wanted more lines. Also, we decided to let the audience know that there will be no actual killing in the play, only acting, and that, the Lion, will be no lion at all, but half a lion mask to show that it is no lion, but an actual human. We also ran into a problem with a wall, we will be lucky if we are able to finish soon enough for the performance.

    Yours Truly,

    Peter Quince.

  18. Dear Journal,

    I have had the most horrendous time trying to get these idiots to perform a simple task, such as putting on a play! A few days ago, we met in the woods to discuss parts, lines, and so forth, but a simple, menial task turned into an impossible one! We first assigned roles to all the men who shall play the parts. Nick Bottom, that stupid fool, is to play Pyramis. He first voiced his concern that he should be a dictator, for he felt that he could play that part better. So, he suggested that we change the lines and plot of the play (because the first thing that ‘thousand year old plays do, is change). I, obviously refused, and we continued onward. I then appealed to Flute to play the female part of Thisbe, but he objected, stating that he had a beard coming on (really? How old are you?). We pushed on from there, and I named Starveling to be the mother of Thisbe, Snout, Pyramis’s father, and myself, Thisbe’s follower. And then there was Snug. Snug is the most slow-witted man I have ever met, and he exhibited that again today. He said he was too slow of study to play the lion’s part, which is basically him roaring whenever he feels the urge to. Throughout this whole time, Nick Bottom decided that he was to play every single part there was; constantly interjecting with shouts of, “Let me play the part of…” or “I shall play the part of…” which really dot on my nerves after the fifth time. It was horrible, but I shall have to make do. We have another rehearsal tomorrow. I hope it goes better than the first.

    More tomorrow,

    Peter Quince

  19. Helena,

    Hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea of Athens! From what I’m told, your not the most ugly woman in the city by far, and you still have the love of many others. If that Demetrius person you told me about is still being a snob with attitude, you be a snob right back! Forget him! He doesn’t deserve a person like you. I’ve read your book, “I’ll be your spaniel” Over and over and the first time that I read it, I knew that you were talking about Demetrius. Now I know that you love him dearly, but he only gives you hate in return. So I say, treat him like he’s treated you! Then he’ll know that he’s mistreated you, hurt you, and he’ll be begging for your forgiveness.

    Sincerely,

    Advice Annabeth

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