A Midsummer Night’s Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay, Research Paper Friend or Fairy? A Midsummer Night s Dream is the best of Shakespeare s early comedies. It is an unrealistic fantasy concerning lovers, fairies and royalty. Its action centers around four lovers plights brought about by the fantasy world in which they enter. All through this play, there is a supernatural force that changes the lives of all that come in its path. However, the audience naturally questions whether this supernatural force is real, or is it merely just a dream. Regardless of whether it is an illusion or not, can be debated endlessly depending on what viewpoint one chooses to support.
The bottom line is that supernatural illusions are at the heart of this Shakespearean play A Midsummer Night s Dream. These illusions are represented to the audience by the means of fairies who are able to intervene with whom ever they please. The fairy world created by Shakespeare for this play, whether real or fantasy, is full of chaos, hardships and confusion that instantaneously effects the inhabitants of the real world. Throughout the play, there are many facts to support the argument that the fantasy world of the fairies is indeed contaminated with faults. There are three main groups of people that provide evidence that shows the corruption associated with the fairies.
The fundamental themes of a Midsummer’s Night Dream are magic, dreams, and the difficulty of love. Throughout the play, these universal concepts are ... Shakespeare uses magic as a theme when he uses the fairies magic, symbolized by the love potion, to create hilarious situations ... Shakespeare was interested in Dreams and sought to convey that to his audience by the use of fairies and magic in the ...
Puck, a mischievous spirit clearly illustrates this corruption by creating various problems to many of the characters in the play. The four young lovers also provide proof of the chaos occurring when they are deeply impacted by the fairies irrational actions. Last but not least, the King and Queen of the fairies clearly demonstrate to the audience that the fairy world is a world full of jealousy and envy. Perceived by others, a fairy world is a world of peace and harmony, however; Shakespeare certainly demonstrates to the audience that even a dream world carries its imperfections. With Puck s entrance upon the workmen s rehearsal, the fairy plot begins to interweave with the workmen s affairs. Puck s ruthless action towards the group of actors proves the validity that the fairies habitat is not a place to admire.
Bottom the weaver is one of the many actors that are to perform at the Dukes wedding. Although his role might not seem that significant, Bottom provides the audience with the necessary proof that the fairies are not as good-natured as one may expect. The play that the actors are supposed to perform, is that of Pyramus and Thisby. A traditional tale of tragic love where Pyramus mistakenly thinks his lady Thisby is dead, kills himself; she, finding him dead, kills herself also. In order to rehearse for this up-coming play, the actors end up going to a nearby forest. This is where the first interaction between the fairies and the actors occur.
Puck, a mischievous elf that loves preposterous things and delights in the pranks he executes throughout the play, decides to transform Bottom s face into a donkey s face instead. Immediately after Puck has accomplished this, the remainder of the actors flee in terror as they make remarks concerning Bottom s unusual transformation. One of the actors Quince, yells, O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray masters! Fly masters! Help! (Shakespeare 3. 1.
94-95) Snout, another actor says, O Bottom, thou art changed. What do I see on thee? (Shakespeare 3. 1. 104-105) Ironically, Bottom answers back to these remarks in an astonishing and comedic manner.
... about it. Indeed, IGOs may be important actors in world politics but they are still controlled by ... as the most important actors in world politics? By comparing the state to other actors in IR the ... will probably fall to the bottom of the poorest countries in the world. There are countless other examples ... states, the latter viewed as cohesive social actors driven by their desire for power and prestige ...
Keep in mind that he does not know that he has an ass s head. He replies to Snout and to the rest, I see their knavery. This is to make an ass of me, to fright me, if they could. (Shakespeare 3. 1.
108-109) Left alone, Bottom thinks that the others are playing a joke on him, when in fact they are not. The actors are unable to continue with their rehearsal and this is all because of Puck s devilish behavior. This is an example of how the corruption in the fairy world has indeed began to affect the actors in the real world. When Puck transforms Bottom, the rest of the actors, seeing this, flee in terror leaving Bottom alone. This brings out another quality in Puck s character.
Puck seeing that these tradesmen are scared, immediately says, I ll follow you; I ll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier. Sometimes a horse I ll be, sometime a hound, A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire. (Shakespeare 3. 1. 96-99) It is obvious that Puck feeds on other s mishaps and enjoys seeing the actors terrified. When they flee after seeing Bottom s transformation, Puck insists on chasing them, further frightening them by making different animal noises.
Puck s behavior clearly illustrates the corrupt disorder that takes place throughout the fairy world. Almost immediately is Puck s nature revealed to the audience. They are shown that his intentions are not that of a typical fairy, who usually brings luck and happiness to the people they meet. Literary critics also tend to agree that the fairies seen in A Midsummer Night s Dream are not a kindly as one may think. Nicoll Allardyce, a literary critic found in Between Fantasy and Reality writes, Shakespeare gives the audience a feeling that the fairies have an evil, darker side.
In saying, they could manipulate human beings and they won t even know it. Furthermore Puck clearly shows an evil side when he engages in evil behavior and causes problems for the actors for example. (Allardyce 139) The four young lovers who find themselves in the midst of the woods are also vulnerable to the fairies chaotic behavior. Although the fairies actions are sometimes accidental, they only add to the chaos that causes harm to the lovers.
... his horn. When they awaken, Lysander is now in love with Hermia, and Demetrius is now in love with Helena. Bottom, seeing this, decides that ... , Lysander awakens, and the first thing he sees is Helena, therefore, he falls in love with her. Seeing this whole mess, Oberon instructs Puck ... , the three bridal couples are asleep, and Puck and the rest of the fairies place a blessing on them, and so this ...
During the first act of the play, Hermia wants to marry Lysander and Ege us, her father wants her to marry Demetrius. Helena, the last of the lovers, treasures Demetrius and wants to be with him. This plot is introduced at the beginning of the play. The audience is then notified that Hermia and Lysander are going to elope against her father s wishes. Circumstances bring all of the lovers to near woods in Athens, where Oberon overhears Demetrius demanding that Helena stop following him. Oberon, feeling pity for Helena instructs Puck to drop a love potion into the eyes of Demetrius so he can love Helena as much as she loves him.
Puck however, mistakenly thinks that Lysander is Demetrius and drops the potion in his eyes instead. Now, Lysander says that he loves Helena and clearly professed his love to her when he says, Content with Hermia? No! I do repent The tedious minutes I with her have spent. Not Hermia, but Helena I love. Who will not change a raven for a dove? (Shakespeare 2. 2.
111-114) In this preceding quotation, Lysander compares Hermia to a raven and Helena to a dove, although just a few minutes beforehand, he was professing his deep affection for Hermia. Lysander s dramatic change in devotion is unmistakably due to the potion that Puck was ordered to put in Demetrius eyes. Although Puck s intentions are good this time, he still nevertheless manages to deprave Hermia from Lysander s true love, thus proving once again that their fairy world can be as corrupt or even more corrupt than the factual world the four lovers occupy. Another example of how the four lovers are effected by the fairies misjudgments, is when Oberon has been made fully aware of Puck s mistake. He instructs Puck to correct it by now placing the potion in the eyes of the person it was intended for, in this case Demetrius. Oberon makes the comment that Puck has turned a true love into a false one (Lysander who truly loved Hermia now falsely loves Helena) and has not turned any false love true (Demetrius still loves Hermia instead of Helena).
However, this all changes when Puck does as he is told. Everything is now opposite of how it was in the beginning of the play. Presently, both Lysander and Demetrius love Helena instead of Hermia. This leaves both women feeling violated and mistreated. Helena thinks that this is a cruel joke that they decided to play on her and Hermia is devastated that her true love has mysteriously devoted himself to Helena instead. This is proven when Hermia replies to Lysander, What, can you do me greater harm than hate? Hate me? Wherefore? O me, what news, my love? Am I not Hermia? Are you not Lysander? I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
... of the Fairies. Titania ... and in love with Lysander. Lysander, the man loved by Hermia. Demetrius, a suitor to Hermia. Helena, a close friend of Hermia and in love with Demetrius. Oberon, King ...
Since night you loved me; yet since night you left me. (Shakespeare 3. 2. 271-277) At this point in the play Hermia begins to see that Lysander does not love her anymore and observes that he can do her no greater harm than to hate her.
Realizing this, Hermia now turns on Helena calling her a juggler, a canker blossom and a thief of love who came by night and stole Lysander s heart away from her. It is now apparent that the fairies misdeeds have wrecked a perfectly good relationship between Hermia and Helena and also an intimate relationship between Lysander and Hermia is no longer present. The dream world of the fairies is now beginning to show its consequences that it had on the earthly world of the four star-crossed lovers. The King and Queen of the fairies Oberon and Titania, are perhaps the best example to use, when attempting to demonstrate the disorder that occurs throughout the fairy world. They are quarreling over a young Indian boy that Oberon wants and the queen refuses to give him up. There is immediate tension as soon as these characters are introduced.
Oberon address Titania as proud Titania and calls their meeting unfortunate and she replies by calling him jealous Oberon and starts to leave, saying that she has forsworn his bed and company. This argument between Oberon and Titania proves that the world they live in, has problems of it s own. This becomes even clearer when the royal Titania express her feeling by saying, Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, Pale in her anger, washes all the air, That rheumatic diseases do abound The spring, the summer, The chilling autumn, angry winter change Their wonted liveries; and the mazed world, By their increase, now knows not which is which. And this same progeny of evil comes From our debate, from our dissension; We are the parents and original.
(Shakespeare 2. 1. 103-117) Titania is surely aggravated by Oberon s actions and because of Oberon s quarrel with her, says Titania, the moon, who is in control of floods, is pale with anger and keeps the whole atmosphere so drenched that diseases are very common. And as a result of the forgoing disorder in nature, the seasons are all mixed up. She goes on and says that people who are watching for the usual indications for each season, do not know which is which. Titania concludes by repeating that this evil can be traced directly to their quarrel as its cause and origin.
... . ) Hippolyta and Theseus the play takes place b. ) Verona f. 2. ) the king of the fairies c. ) Titania and Oberon a. 3. ) the only ... face consequences. (I. i. 23-126) 4. ) Titania, due to a love potion, falls in love with Bottom. 5. ) Helena accusesHermiaof coming up ... Bottom both in her lair. Titania is acting very much in love with Bottom. They sleep. Oberon watches how Tiatnia is acting and ...
They are the parents and the original of this evil offspring. Clearly, Titania herself reveals to the audience the condition in which the fairy kingdom is in. She also admits that this condition is due to their disagreement. If the leaders of the kingdom are unable to get along, it is no surprise that the place they reign is full of mishaps and confusion. As a result from this argument, Oberon becomes stubborn and decides to put Titania in a trance.
Oberon instructs Puck to retrieve a flower that contains a love potion. He requires this potion in order to enchant Titania s eyes with it while she is asleep. This love potion will cause the Queen to fall madly in love with anyone or anything she sees. While she is occupied with her loved one, he will be able to get the young Indian boy that he wants from her.
This is revealed to the audience when Oberon says, Having once this juice, I ll watch Titania when she is asleep And drop the liquor of it in her eyes. The next thing then she, waking, looks upon Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, On meddling monkey, or on busy ape She shall pursue it with the soul of love. (Shakespeare 2. 1. 176-182) Clearly Oberon is trying to bewitch Titania in order to get what he wants.
This is not something expected in a world occupied with fairies, where all is presumed to be peaceful and harmonious. Just like the real world, this fantasy world is full of chaos that is brought out by the actions of Oberon, Puck and the other spirits. David Richman from Shakespeare For Students explains, The obviously tragic element in the play is the powerful, potentially devastating, rage underlying the conflict between Oberon and Titania, a dream world confrontation with possibly dire consequences for the denizens of ordinary reality. (Richman 386) Richman explains that the conflict between the King and Queen can have effects on the inhabitants of the real world. And it surely does. If it was not for their conflict, the love potion used on the four lovers would not have been brought into play.
... a major role in showing the innocence of love. The fairies are thousands of years old and could care ... about who they love because the fairies screw around with their feelings. One lover loves somebody and then loves another person the ... introduces the major action & the major confusion that Puck causes. In Act IV the lovers are returned to ... job on the body art that was on Puck and his sidekick.. ...
Come to think of it, the fairies would not have even been in the same woods as the Athenians. It has been proven that throughout this play, the fairies create numerous predicaments that effect various characters. Some are intentional such as Puck s senseless prank played on Bottom the weaver and his fellow actors. Others are unintentional; merely a mistake brought about by minor misunderstandings such as when Puck drops the potion into Lysander s eyes thinking he is Demetrius.
The fact is that the fantasy world of the fairies is a world full of jealousy, evil and chaos. This is brought about by many of the spirits that inhabit this fairy kingdom. Puck, the four lovers and Oberon and his lady clearly illustrate to the audience that the fantasy world is very similar to the factual world, a world full of disorder and disturbance.