Shakespeare/Midsummer Night's Dream term paper 12518

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Does Shakespeare make any serious points in ‘A midsummer night’s dream’,

or is it just a comedy? Shakespeare’s play, ‘A midsummer night’s dream’

is a comedy which also deals with some serious issues. The play was written in

Shakespearean times as a comedy. The play was written to entertain two very

different groups of people. The upper class, and the lower class citizens, Two

different levels of theater had to be written to entertain them both. An

entertaining and comical part, for both groups, would have been the use of

fairies and mystical magic in the play. In those days most grown adults were

very superstitious and believed in such things. The fairies and magic brought

comedy to the play because, although the people were superstitious, they also

knew the spirit characters in the play were fanciful and fictional. Shakespeare

used these characters to bring mischief to the story which caused many of the

comical incidents that happened through the play. The most mischievous and there

for the most comical and entertaining spirit was Oberon’s servant Puck. Puck

was quick tongued and meddling. He was also quite famous for being so. Puck

created a great deal of trouble when, trying to follow Oberon’s orders, he

mistakes Lysander for Demetrius. It is comical that this simple mistake, which

was hardly his fault, causes such a mess of all the relationships in the play.

“What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite. And laid the love juice on

some true love’s sight.” Oberon An event in the play, which was written as

comedy appealing to the lower class, was the happenings which lead the fairy

queen, Titania, to fall in love with a man that has been enchanted and looks all

the world like an ass. Oberon drops love potion into Titania’s eyes which

makes her fall for a man that Puck has prepared. “My mistress with a monster

is in love” “When in that moment it came to pass, Titania waked and

straightway loved an ass” Act 3, scene 2. The scene where the fairy queen

takes the ass to bed is most entertaining to the lower class because they were a

little less educated and most of the clever humor went straight over their

heads. It was also comical because the ass was so ugly and the queen was so

beautiful, and as everyone knows, only the charming, handsome men get the

beautiful women. “My Oberon! What visions have I seen! Methought I was

enamoured of an ass!” Titania. The man didn’t realize that the queen was

charmed, and was vain enough to believe all the wonderful things she said about

him. This was funny because everyone always like to have a laugh at people who

think so highly of themselves. In the play there are a group of actors that

greatly contribute to the comedy of this play. We laugh at things that appear

hopeless. And these poor town’s folk come actors, are just that. One of the

actors is shy, the other is a man trying to play a woman and another is a

hopeless over actor who wants to steal the spot light. They all make fools of

them selves in order to impress Theseus and his court at his wedding banquet.

The over simplicity of their production makes to be very entertaining. Despite

the humor in ‘A midsummer night’s dream’, Shakespeare also deals with many

serious issues in this play. One of these is that love is blind. This is evident

in many of the relationships between the characters in the play. Both Hermia and

Helena fall in love blindly, that is that they fall in love with the least

logical person. Hermia is in love with Lysander despite the fact that her father

would rather her die than to marry him. It would be most logical for her to love

Demetrius and live happily ever after, but that is rarely the way love goes.

Helena fell in love with Demetruis who was so in love with Hermia, he barely

even noticed that Helena existed. If it wasn’t for the magical happening in

the forest that night, it would have been unlikely that these characters would

have ended up as happy as they did. “hings base and vile, holding no quantity,

Love can transpose to form and dignity. Love looks not with the eyes but with

the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” Helena, Act 1, scene 1

A instance in Shakespeare’s play where the theme ‘love is blind’ is much

more literal is the act between Titania and the ass. When Titania fell in love

with Bottom, despite the ugly exterior, she still thought him the most gorgeous

creature alive. Most of the characters in the play were in love, but that love

was not always returned. Helena and Demetrius are the best example of this.

Helena was rejected by Demetrius time and time again, but this just made her

love him more. “ I love thee not, there for pursue me not!” Demetrius

Demetrius, on the other hand, was madly in love with Hermia. Although she wanted

nothing to do with him because she was so in love with Lysander. And all this

rejection was even before the meddlesome fairies had a hand in it. When Puck

placed the love potion on Lysander’s eyes, things just got worse. Lysander

rejected Hermia’s love and both he and Demetrius aimed their affections at

Helena, leaving poor Hermia feeling betrayed. Hermia thought that the two men

were teasing her and denied both of them her love. Another is marital problems,

this is a serious problem that still occurs today. In ‘A midsummer night’s

dream’, Oberon and Titania aren’t officially married, but they may as well

be. They fight like Husband and wife. This is mainly due to Oberon’s jealousy

over a child he thinks might be Titania’s. “What jealous Oberon! Fairies,

skip hence; I have forsworn his bed and company.” Titania In the time the play

was written, there weren’t any marriage councilors and therefore Oberon used

magic to patch things up. These and more aspects of relationships are very

realistic and serious points that Shakespeare explores in this play.

Shakespeare’s play ‘A midsummer night’s dream’ has been well written so

as it combines in an entertaining way, both humor and serious issues.


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