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Fantasy vs. Reality in A Midsummer Night's Dream

:: 3 Sources Cited
Length: 1040 words (3 double-spaced pages)
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Fantasy vs. Reality in A Midsummer Night's Dream

 
     Shakespeare weaves a common thread throughout most of his comedies, namely the theme of fantasy vs. reality. His use of two distinct settings: one signifying the harsh, colorless world of responsibility and obligation and one suggesting a world of illusion where almost anything is possible, a place where all conflicts are magically resolved.

 

Midsummer Night's Dream is a vivid example of Shakespeare's use of this plot device. The setting of the forest and the events that occur there represent a complete departure from the physical existence into a world where love at first sight is the norm. "Shakespeare delights in decentering the world mortals take for granted; soon the audience learns that the dark forest is the center of the play's world, relegating Athens, center of the civilized Greek world, to the periphery" (Borey 1).

 

The impending marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta is an illustration of this so-called civilized world in which one is required to set aside emotions and do what is exp...


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...n which all things are possible, Shakespeare transports and transforms not only his characters, but also his audience, and his readers.

 

Works Cited

Borey, Edward. "Classic Note on A Midsummer Night's Dream." Classic   Notes by Gradesaver. 2001. 12 March 2001.   <http://www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Titles/midsummernight>.

Frye, Northrup. Northrup Frye on Shakespeare. New Haven: Yale   University Press. 1986.

Macdonald, Ronald R. William Shakespeare: The Comedies. New York:   Twayne Publishers. 1992.


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