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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Powerful Essays
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream one finds the typical use of love and nature that is evidence of Shakespeare’s youth and experimentation. He creates in this play another world, a fairy world where Puck is the ringleader and love is everywhere. Called "fancy’s child" by Milton, Shakespeare brings out his cheerful happiness in its most light-hearted manner in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

A frequent observation by most critics is Shakespeare’s use of nature imagery. It is most obvious in this play because of the setting: it is hard to escape nature and its effects when the majority of the play occurs in the wood. Shakespeare uses birds to create an audible atmosphere ("more tunable than lark to shepherd’s ear" I.i.184), to tell the time, and to measure movement ("hop as light as bird from brier" V.i.391). He also puts great stock in the weather, its effects on the earthly world and the effects of the fairy world on the weather. Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies believe that because they are immortal, their arguments will have some manifestation on earth, either in the relationship between Theseus and Hippolyta or in the weather (Bevington, xxii).

The most prominent piece of imagery in this work is the moon. Shakespeare credits it for many events in the story. Noted by most critics and discussed in most introductions, the moon is a prime part of the play and what happens in it. The word is found 28 times just in this play, three and a half times more than any other play. Six of the eight times that the word moonlight occurs in his works are in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Spurgeon 260). Shakespeare even named one of the characters of the play within the play ‘Moonshine...

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...o., 1945.

Hunt, Maurice. " ‘The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia,’ Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ and the School of Night: and intertextual nexus." Essays in Literature Spring 1996: 3-18. http://web7.searchbank.com (12 Nov. 1998).

Hunter, G. K. Shakespeare: The Later Comedies. Ed. Geoffrey Bullough. London: F. Mildner and Sons, 1962.

Plasse, Marie A. "The human body as performance medium in Shakespeare." College Literature Feb. 1992: 28. http://www.epnet.com (12 Nov. 1998).

Rogers, Ellen. "Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream." The Explicator Spring 1998: 117. http://web7.searchbank.com (12 Nov. 1998).

Spurgeon, Caroline F. E. , Shakespeare’s Imagery and What It Tells Us. Cambridge: University Press, 1958.

Vickers, Brian. "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." The Review of English Studies May 1998: 215. http://web7.searchbank.com(12 Nov. 1998).
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