Farce and Dramatic Irony in A Midsummer Night´s Dream by William Shakespeare

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In the comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the plethora of comedic styles used by Shakespeare illustrate his intention to poke fun at love throughout the play. The play is notorious for its intricate and irrational plotline, mainly due to the constantly shifting love triangles. Once the powerful fairies become involved with the fate of the naive lovers – Demetrius, Helena, Lysander and Hermia – matters are further complicated. The complication inflicted by the fairies is credited to the powerful love potion that Oberon, King of the Fairies, hands over to Puck, a mischievous fairy, to use on his wife Titania, with intentions to embarrass and distract her. This spiteful attitude is due to Oberon and Titania’s argument over the custody of an Indian boy. This argument is what ends up affecting all and throwing everything out of whack. This conniving plan, intended to act as a diversion, ends up affecting many more than just Titania, but rather all three distinctive groups in the play: the lovers, fairies, and mechanicals. This comical journey of jumbled up love affairs is not entirely comprised of slapstick-type comedy, but also crucial lessons about love. The comedic styles of both farce and irony appear frequently throughout the play, fortifying the play comedically and morally. The obliviousness of a character that is displayed with dramatic irony represents how love is truly blind. The randomness of farce represents how love truly has no reason, and is very confusing, like the play itself. Farce and dramatic irony both serve as vehicles to exemplify the absurd, out of control, and illogical realities of love.
Dramatic irony in A Midsummer Night’s Dream embodies the elaborate plotline that symbolizes the complexity of love, while d...

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...ularly touches on how complicated love is and how love is blind. On the other hand, the outlandish, farcical scenes contribute to the moral that love is irrational and ridiculous. Throughout the play, it is evident that Shakespeare intends to create a crucial moral about love, while also entertaining the audience. The comedic aspect of the play as a whole; however, is clearly not intended just to entertain the audience, but also serves as a way to help symbolize this larger message about love. This moral is clearly not intended, but rather makes a point and pokes fun at love, and even in the biggest picture, society. Although some may interpret morals differently from others, when reading or watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is critical to not only understand the humor but also harvest the moral about love and realize that humor can contribute to that moral.

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