The Role Of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Satisfactory Essays
The Role Of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream

The role and character of Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, in A Midsummer

Night's Dream, is not only entertaining but quite useful.

William Shakespeare seems to have created the character of Puck from his

own childhood. In Shakespeare's time it was believed that fairies and little

people did exist. Whenever something went wrong around the farmyard or house or

village, incidents such as buckets of milk ‘accidentally' spilling over, or

tools suddenly disappearing, or doors opening for no reason, it was blamed on ‘

those damn little people!'.

The idea of Puck's character is a lovely one. One can't help but be

attracted to him and his innocent, little pranks. He is also known by the name

Robin Goodfellow. The audience can only see this ‘Robin Goodfellow' side of

Puck when he is trying to fix something he disrupted, hence the name Goodfellow.

When compared to Oberon, King of the Fairies and Titania, Queen of the

Fairies and the remaining fairies of the play, Puck does not seem to fit in as

well. While Oberon and Titania belong to the forest and the world of dainty

fairies, a small village setting seems more appropriate for Puck. He is the

type of fairy that likes to be around mortals and cause them trouble, as opposed

to other fairies. This is why Puck's little job with a love potion and a young

couple is perfect for him and he perfect for the job.

Puck is a likable character who tends to create mischief around himself.

Everything is a game to crafty little Puck. Yet once he realizes that he has

caused a problem he will make sure to the best of his ability and power that it

is rectified. As in the scene with Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and

Demetrius. When Puck mistook Lysander for Demetrius (Shakespeare conveniently

had the characters look alike or ‘only slightly individualized') and dropped the

love-juice into Lysander's eyes and then (with help from Oberon) realized what

he had done he knew he had to fix it.

Shakespeare conveniently created ‘Puck' to add some probability to the

play. Since the typical audience believed in fairies and little people, Puck

could be convincing in his role. It is possibly, even today, more plausible to
Get Access