Midsummer Nights Dream Term Paper

Pages: 3 (966 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare weaves together the three levels of a Midsummer Night's Dream: reality in Athens, a dream-state in the woods, and the play-within -- the play. Puck, the only main character who only exists in the forest dream world, ironically appears to the audience at the end of Shakespeare's play to say, "If we shadows have offended, / Think but this, and all is mended, / That you have but slumber'd here...And this weak and idle theme, / No more yielding but a dream." Thus, the presentation of Shakespeare's play adds a fourth dimension to a Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare's play is therefore structured to ask its readers and viewing audiences to contemplate the meaning of fiction and its impact on human consciousness.

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Just as Puck can leave his fictional world for ours, characters can go between the three internal worlds of a Midsummer Night's Dream: Athens (the city); the woods; and the play-within-the-play ("Pyramus and Thisbe"). The three worlds are not mutually exclusive. They share characters and situations. For example, all four of the play's central human characters fall asleep in the woods and enter its dreamlike world. Hermia, Helena, Demetrius and Lysander all appear in the city and in the woods and have equally significant roles in both worlds. Likewise, Bottom and the rest of the craftsmen troop practice "Pyramus and Thisbe" in the woods but perform it to the king and queen-to-be in Athens. The woods therefore serves as the place in which dreams are created, crafted, and nurtured. Those dreams then impact the daily lives of those living in the concrete world of the city, just as Shakespeare's play impacts the daily lives of those who read and watch them.

Even fantasy figures like Oberon and Titania walk between the worlds of the play. They dwell within the woods, but make an appearance in the city. The fairy king and queen become real when they appear in Athens to bless Theseus and Hippolyta. Their appearing in the city indicates the essential reality of the dream world: again paralleling the importance of Puck's soliloquy at the end of a Midsummer Night's Dream.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Midsummer Nights Dream Assignment

Midsummer Night's Dream is a tale of many romances. Beginning and ending the play with Theseus and Hippolyta, Shakespeare presents their romance as an archetype of marriage. Throughout the remainder of the play, couples like Oberon and Titania serve a similar function: to explicate the meaning of marriage and show how heterosexual couples interact.

However, romance serves a comedic function too. Love triangulation is the driving force behind the plot of a Midsummer Night's Dream. Unfulfilled and unrequited love also remains a key theme of Shakespeare's play and is the main reason the craftsmen's troop select "Pyramus and Thisbe" to perform at the wedding of Theseus and Hipployta. As the play-within-the-play, "Pyramus and Thisbe" can be considered characters in their own right, explaining the many possible… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Midsummer Nights Dream.  (2007, October 15).  Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/midsummer-nights-dream/1959602

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"Midsummer Nights Dream."  15 October 2007.  Web.  26 October 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/midsummer-nights-dream/1959602>.

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"Midsummer Nights Dream."  Essaytown.com.  October 15, 2007.  Accessed October 26, 2021.