Tuesday, June 17, 2008

When I a Fat and Bean-Fed Horse Beguile

During the spring, my 9yo son participated in a fabulous local production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Despite his initial protestations, he loved being a lover. He played Lysander to his best friend's Hermia.

Shakespeare plays around with size quite a bit in this play. During an argument, Hermia betrays her shame about her short stature. Other characters pick up on her discomfort and tease her. At one point Lysander calls her a dwarf, an acorn, and a bead for being so tiny.

In most productions, directors can be counted upon to cast shorter actresses as Hermia and taller ones as Helena, the other (mortal) female love interest. In this production--full of homeschooled children--the director (a homeschooled highschooler) cast as Hermia a young woman who is about six inches taller than my son. She played the part brilliantly--and when Lysander labeled her a dwarf, the audience burst out laughing, realizing that she was only hurt by the comment because of her own feelings of inadequacy.

* * *

In this same production, Oberon (King of the fairy world) was played by an intense and small boy who acted the overbearingly royal qualities brilliantly. Titania, his love and the queen of the fairies, towered over him by nearly a foot. And when she fell in love with Bottom (after his transformation into a donkey), she found a love several inches shorter than Oberon.

Compared to the two of them, Titania looked not like a delicate fairy but like an Amazon. The idea that the character is weak and basically loses in the play always irks me. So I was thrilled with the transformation.

* * *

Now I am considering casting on that beautiful knitted cotton sweater Titania, named for the Queen of the Fairies.

Here's the pic from the knitting designer's website:

The above model is not a little wispy thing of no substance--but she is a combination of slender and curvy that shows off this sweater wonderfully.

You could say I am curvy. In all the right places.

And, well, in most of the wrong places, too. You could never say I am slender.

Am I going to look like an Amazon Fairy in this thing or am I going to look more like Bottom the Weaver in his Ass costume?

"wide enough to wrap a fairy in"


Mikaiya said...

I think it would look lovely! In fact, thanks for the link. I WANT that.

The important thing would be to add extra rows between the bust and the sideways band near the bottom, to ensure adequate space-age for your figure (or mine, even, since I may be short waisted but I'd need the fabric up top). And maybe this would be an excellent test bed for some serious darts, a la Knitting Daily this week.

I say go for it!

Mikaiya said...

On second viewing, I'd also make the neckline a bit lower. But that seems to be a simple adjustment, too.

Aren't I just picky today!

The Purloined Letter said...

Ooh, we are SO thinking alike. Let's get together and confer!

Carrie said...

My yoga theme for the week is "blessing our bellies" because I'm still waiting to meet a woman who loves her curves, her shape and her size. You will look beautiful in this sweater because I've never seen you look less than lovely. Happy knitting! -- Carrie

Carrie K said...

Amazon Fairy. In fact, I might be joining the troupe of Amazon Fairies beause that looks like a perfect "next" knit.

The Purloined Letter said...

To both Carries--Thank you so much for your very kind comments. I'm increasingly realizing how much I need to be the Amazon Fairy!

Lisa said...

I LOVE the sweater! I wish I had the attention span to do it myself. Cant wait to see the progress.

Anonymous said...

Oh, THAT baby's going in my queue for sure! I wanna be an Amazon Fairy too!
It'd be on the needles by days' end, but for the fact that I'm 1,000 miles from my yarn stash! so it must wait until August. :-(
I'll likely lengthen the sleeves, but otherwise... it's perfect! (Well, there will be bust darts, but arent' there always bust darts??) Thank you so much.
AND thanks for the description of that Midsummer Night's Dream production. Sounds marvelous!


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