William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

Length: 966 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream


Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream can be considered an archetypal comedy due in large part to the ill-defined characters. Part of what makes this play work so well is that rather than becoming too invested in any one character’s hopes and fears or desires and struggles, the audience is simply rooting for things to work out well in general. If the audience became too attached to any one character, they might lose sight of the bigger picture in their concern over, for example, Demetrius remaining drugged at the end of the play, or the disturbing repercussions of Helena marrying a man who only a few acts earlier she had urged to “Use me but as your spaniel…” (2.i.212). The audience is not plagued by these difficulties, however, because the lovers are only one or two shades more real than the characters presented by the Athenian laborers in Pyramus and Thisbe. A couple of the lines uttered in and about the play-within-a-play are very reminiscent of the “real” lovers whose trials and travails make up the rest of the work.

The most appropriate line uttered by the mechanicals is “My love! Thou art my love, I think.” (5.i.207). This pretty well sums up the situation of the four lovers. Even before any fairy drugs enter the picture, they can’t seem to keep their affections straight. Demetrius, we learn, “Made love to…Helena, and won her soul…” (1.i.109-10). This comes out as he is in court with Hermia’s father, appealing to Theseus to force Hermia to marry him. His fickleness is in fact the cause of the entire conflict, since as far as we know the two couples were perfectly happy before his affections were switched.

Later in the play, once the two coupl...


... middle of paper ...


...worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.” (5.i.224-6). He refers here to theatre, but his statement can be more broadly applied to the idea of love as seen in this play. All four of the “real” lovers can be seen as “shadows” of actual people—they exist to be in love, to be in love with being in love, to talk about being in love, etc. They have no function beyond that and really are not capable of much more. The lovers of the play-within-a-play, without trying too hard, can seem to be remarkably similar to Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and Helena. With just a little bit of imagination, they are in fact “no worse”. The play in Act 5 serves to reflect back an image of what we have just seen that is only slightly distorted, and it is in the smallness of the distortion that we can really understand how ridiculous the events that have just unfolded really are.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night 's Dream Essay

- The Loss of Magic Throughout A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, there are multiple analyses that one can follow in order to reach a conclusion about the overall meaning of the play. These conclusions are reached through analyzing the play’s setting, characterization, and tone. However, when one watches the production A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Michael Hoffman, a completely different approach is taken on these aspects, leading to a vastly different analysis of the work....   [tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare]

Good Essays
701 words (2 pages)

William Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night 's Dream Essay

- The poet, William Shakespeare (1564-1616), wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream before the year 1600, and published it in 1600 in Quarto edition. However, it is suggested, that this play was ‘first put on in court in 1595’ (Salgado, 1975: p. 116). Because of the wedding theme in the play, it is possible that this comedy was written intentionally for a specific wedding, although, scholars still debate which wedding it was written for. (Goodall, 2015). During Elizabethan era, plays were performed usually in an open-air auditorium that was roofless....   [tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare]

Good Essays
2167 words (6.2 pages)

William Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night 's Dream Essay

- Maybe More than a Skill A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written by William Shakespeare, is a tale of when trickery interferes with love, causing lots of twist and turns in the romantic relationships of the characters Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena. Within the first 100 lines, preliminary stressors are revealed. Hermia’s father, Egeus, has spoken his complaints to King Oberon about his trepidation regarding the love triangle Hermia has put herself into with Lysander, her lover, and Demetrius, Egeus’ choice....   [tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare]

Good Essays
890 words (2.5 pages)

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Essay

- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is very unique because there is a play within a play. Shakespeare uses the interesting qualities of the characters to narrate the play. The characters can be divided into four groups: The Athenian Court (The Duke, Hippolyta, Egeus, and Philostrate); the young lovers (Hermia, Lysander, Helena, and Demetrius); the fairy kingdom (Oberon, Titania, Puck, and the lesser fairies); and the workmen (Bottom, Quince, Flute, Snout, Starveling, and Snug)....   [tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare]

Free Essays
506 words (1.4 pages)

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Essay

- A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Author: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was written by William Shakespeare, who was born in Stratfort-upon-Avon, in 1564. After he had attended the Stratfort School, he married in November 1582 Anne Hathaway and five years later they got their first daughter. For whatever reason, he went to London and became an actor- dramatist. In the beginning of his career he was both actor and writer....   [tags: William Shakespeare Midsummer Night Dream]

Free Essays
1330 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

- Throughout history literature has changed into many different forms and styles, it has also stayed the same in many different ways, literary techniques and elements are key to a good piece of writing, a perfect example that shows us just this is in, A Midsummer Nights Dream, where we will further explore the different literary elements that were used most notably the plot. The plot of a story lays out the foundation and the background for the entire play to come, we'll compare and contrast this element and look at the different sub elements which are produced....   [tags: William Shakespeare Midsummer Night Dream]

Good Essays
1280 words (3.7 pages)

Night in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay examples

- Night in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream One of the recurring themes throughout Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the time of day during which the play’s major action takes place: night. This being the case, there are certain words that are directly linked to this theme that appear numerous times throughout the script. Four such words are “moon,” “moonlight,” “moonshine,” and “lunatic.” Each comes from a feminine root that serves to identify the women in the play as prizes to be won and controlled....   [tags: Shakespeare Midsummer Night Dream Essays]

Good Essays
1375 words (3.9 pages)

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are endless images of water and the moon. Both images lend themselves to a feeling of femininity and calm. In classical mythology, the image of water is often linked with Aphrodite, goddess of passion and love. Born of the foam of the sea, Aphrodite was revered as an unfaithful wife to her husband Hephaestus (Grant 36). This may have a direct coloration to the unfaithful nature of the four lovers, Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius, while in the woods....   [tags: Shakespeare Midsummer Night's Dream Essays]

Good Essays
1585 words (4.5 pages)

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare, in his "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," uses his characters to cast a sense of derision over the use of the imagination. “The lunatic, the lover and the poet” are thrown together all on one line, and it is implied that the latter two are as crazy as the first. (Midsummer Night’s Dream, V.1.7) Despite this seeming scorn for plays and their ilk, Shakespeare is implementing a strong irony. Characters who scorn the imagination are no more than imaginings themselves – and, by this, Shakespeare is actually reinforcing a positive image of plays of the imagination....   [tags: Shakespeare Midsummer Night's Dream Essays]

Good Essays
1287 words (3.7 pages)

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Essay

- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream could have easily been a light-hearted, whimsical comedy. Complete with a magic forest and a kingdom of fairies, it is an iconic setting for amorous escapades and scenes of lovers. But Shakespeare’s writing is never so shallow; through this romantic comedy, Shakespeare postulates an extremely cynical view of love. A Midsummer Night’s Dream becomes a commentary on the mystery of love, and lovers in general emerge shamed. Especially in the episodes among the four young Athenians, the lover is painted as a fickle creature, always changing his or her mind, and love as a passing phenomenon....   [tags: Shakespeare Midsummer Night's Dream Essays]

Good Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)