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In this assignment I will be exploring the role of the fairies in 'A
Midsummer Nights Dream'. I will consider Elizabethan views about
fairies, how fairies are presented in the play and the significance of
the magical events.
Many Elizabethans had strong beliefs that fairies, goblins, and
sprites existed and came out at night to play tricks on innocent
people. It was believed they could make people go insane, give them
terrible nightmares, or even lure them into a devilish underworld.
Fairies were a part of everyday life in Elizabethan times.
The Fairy Setting
The enchanted wood had circles of darker grass on lawns or meadows
caused by the outer edge of the under ground toadstool or mushroom
patch - they were believed to be formed by fairies dacing. Furthermore
the enchanted wood also had yellow wild flowers that bloomed in late
spring which were called Cowslips (at 10-15cm, they are not tall
except to a fairy).Titania's bower in a leafy shelter and is her
Summary Of Actions
Oberon is angry with Titania because she refuses to give him the
Indian boy she is raising they the go on to criticise each others,
after that Oberon says this disaster will end if she gives up the
Indian boy, but Titania refuses. Oberon thinks up a sneaky plan to get
the boy back. He sends Puck out to find a plant called
love-in-idleness, the juice of which makes any person love next
creature he or she sees.
Oberon takes his revenge on Titania by making her fall in love with
bottom who has an ass's head.
Puck explains what he has done to Oberon, who is pleased with the way
his plan has turned out Everything seems perfect, until Demetrius and
Hermia walk past, Hermia believing Demetrius has harmed Lysander, who
has mysteriously disappeared. Oberon realizes that Puck has anointed
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Oberon sends Puck in search of Helena, vowing to charm Demetrius' eyes
when she appears. Now both Lysander and Demetrius are in love with
Helena, adding much to Puck's amusement. Helena still believes they
are teasing her. When Hermia honestly says she knows nothing about the
sudden change in Lysander's feelings, Helena believes she is simply
playing dumb: In her opinion, her three friends are laughing at her.
Everything is put right when Oberon has Puck create a fog that will
keep the lovers from finding one another and while they are a sleep,
Puck reverses the spell on Lysander. He also casts a spell so none of
the lovers will remember what has happened in the woods.
At the end the fairies give their blessing of Theseus and Hippolyta's
The Fairies - Puck
My first impressions of Puck were that he was sly, mischievous and
irresponsible. Puck is the servant of Oberon and he likes to play
practical jokes on mortals. Unlike Oberon who genuinely tries to
create human happiness, Puck seems indifferent to human suffering.
When he has accidentally caused both Lysander and Demetrius to fall in
love with Helena, Puck thinks it is funny. Although he restores the
real lovers to each other, he does so only at Oberon's request, not
out of any feelings of remorse.
The Fairies - Oberon
My First impressions of Oberon were that he was very powerful but
quite envious and jealous. Oberon has a wide understanding of the
force of plant and herbs. In my opinion Oberon's personality has to
sides, he can be kind or he can be cruel like with his dealings with
The Fairies - Titania
My First impression of Titania was that she was very beautiful however
she shows that she is not scared to do what she wants like when she
did not hand the Indian boy over to Oberon. Titania is Oberon's wife.
The Magical Events
Bottom's human head is transformed into a donkey's head while
practicing in the woods. He frightens his friends away and is
completely oblivious to this change. When Titania awakes, she sees
Bottom as the ass and falls in love.
The magic flower has a juice that when placed on the sleeping eyelids
of a man or woman, it will cause him or her to fall in love with the
next live creature that he or she sees. The flower is called
love-in-idleness. Puck gives the juice to the wrong people in
Demetrius, Lysander and Helena and this causes all sorts of problems.
When Puck creates a deep fog in which the lovers will get lost and,
finally, fall asleep in exhaustion. When they awake in the morning,
the night's events will seem like a dream except that Demetrius will
be in love with Helena.
The role of the fairies in 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' was to create a
Of dreams that is both intriguing for Elizabethan and modern audiences
it also shows how easily humans can be manipulated.