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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

National Theatre at Home / London / Stage

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” This homily for the heartbroken comes from the 16th century, where it was enthroned in Act One of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not only does the line ease an aching heart, it also foreshadows the romantic mayhem to come: Four lovers enter a magic forest, where fairies test their loyalties through a love potion made from flower dew. The play’s themes of infatuation, jealousy, and the tension between lust and love are as relatable as its plot is fantastical. This is probably the bard’s most beloved romance, and the National Theatre’s acclaimed production is available—for a short time only—on YouTube. —C.J.F.

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