Midsummer Nights Dream

Midsummer Night’s Dream William Shakespeare, born in 1594, is one of the greatest writers in literature. He dies in 1616 after completing many sonnets and plays. One of which is “A Midsummer Nights Dream.” They say that this play is the most purely romantic of Shakespeares comedies. The themes of the play are dreams and reality, love and magic. This extraordinary play is a play-with-in-a-play, which master writers only write successfully.

Shakespeare proves here to be a master writer. Critics find it a task to explain the intricateness of the play, audiences find it very pleasing to read and watch. “A Midsummer Nights Dream” is a comedy combining elements of love, fairies, magic, and dreams. This play is a comedy about five couples who suffer through loves strange games and the evil behind the devious tricks. This play begins as Theseus, the Duke, is preparing to marry Hippolyta.

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He woos her with his sword. Hermia is in love with Lysander. Egeus, Hermias father, forbids the relationship with Lysander and orders her to marry Demetrius. Demetrius loves Hermia, but she does not love him. On the other hand, Helena is in love with Demetrius. To settle the confusion, Theseus decides that Hermia must marry Demetrius or become a nun. In retaliation to her fathers command, Hermia and Lysander run away together.

Amidst all the problems in the human world, Titania and Oberon, the fairy queen and king, continually argue about their various relationships that they have taken part in. (Scott 336) Titania leaves Oberon as a result of the arguments. Oberon is hurt and wants revenge on Titania. So he tells Puck, Oberons servant, to put a magic flower juice on her eyelids while she is sleeping. This potion causes the victim to desperately in love with the first creature that they see.

Oberons plan is carried out, but the potion is also placed on Lysanders eyes. Lysander awakes to see Helena, who is aimlessly walking through the woods, and instantly falls in love with her. She thinks that he is making fun of her being in love with Demetrius, so she leaves and Lysander follows. This leaves Hermia to wake up alone. Puck now has journeyed to the area where several actors are rehearsing. He uses his magic to turn one of them into a donkey, in hopes that Titania will awake to see it.

Just as planned, she awakes and falls in love with the donkey. Oberon and Puck overhear Demetrius and Hermia arguing about their relationships and realize that they had made a mistake. In hopes of solving the problem, Puck places magic juice on Demetrius while he is sleeping. He awakes to Helena, who now has two men in love with her. Hermia is devastated because Lysander does not love her anymore.

Helena and Hermia argue because Helena thinks that Hermia is in on the mens “joke.” All four argue and leave. Puck persuades them to sleep all together and more of the antidote is placed on the eyes of Lysander. Titania also receives another dose of the potion, and awakes to her husband Oberon. A triple wedding is planned and everyone is happy. (thinkquest.com 1-3) Throughout the play there are many references to the gender and sex roles of the characters. As described in the critical essay by Shirley Nelson Garner, the dominating male power and strange sex roles of the characters is fluent throughout the play. The ordering of the fairy, human, and natural worlds is a movement toward satisfying mens psychological needs; but it also disrupts womens bonds with each other.

The argument between Titania and Oberon arises from Titanias focus of attention toward a stolen Indian boy. Oberon uses his authority to force Titania to give up the boy, and he is shocked when she disobeys him and leaves. Her attachment to the boy is erotic, because she treats him similar to Bottom after she falls in love with him by a spell. The underlying reason for Oberons complaint of Titania and the boys relationship is that he secretly wants the boy for himself. Oberon takes action because his power is threatened by Titanias love for the boy. He needs her too, so he wins the boy for himself to make her feel inferior.

In other words, Titania gave up something that she loved to make her husband happy. This is seen in everyday life, women give up their wants to make their men happy. Titanias sacrifice for Oberon cost her to lose both her Indian boy and his mother, her women lover. When men dont make women happy, they turn to their friends for what they need, whatever it may be. (Scott 370-373) Male domination not only exists between husband and wife, but also between father and daughter. Theseus will not allow Hermia to marry Lysander.

Theseus wants her to marry Demetrius. Egeus, a ruler, will force Hermia to become a nun unless she marries Demetrius. In retaliation to his demands, Lysander and Hermia run away together. Hermia is scolded by Egeus for being in love with the man she chooses. This suggests that men cause women to feel forced and obligated to do as they say.

(Scott 373) Another example of male domination is the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta. Theseus first wife was frail and yielding, and he divorced her. Hippolyta has been a warrior, and Theseus victory over her makes her unable to resist. By conquering the female warrior and marrying her, he fulfills his need for the exclusive love of a woman while satisfying his homoerotic desires. Close bonding fulfills this homoerotic desire with a male companion, such as Demetrius and Egeus.

(Scott 373-373) Male jealousy and need for dominance ruins womens relationships with friends and also turns to brutality. Hermia and Helena were once intimate friends, but Helena is suspicious of Hermias involvement in the mens “joke.” Bonds between women are just as important as mens bonds with each other, but jealousy leads to the end of womens happiness. When Helena pursues Demetrius, his male brutality is revealed when he rejects her for another woman, insults her, and threatens to rape her. Also, when the men fall in love with her, she feels like the “butt of a joke.” This stirs female insecurity and pain, again caused by previous abuse from men. The submissive nature of women enables Hermia and Helena to bear their lovers abuse.

(Scott 374-376) The reconciliation between Titania and Oberon, at the end of the play, brings blessing to the human world. This suggests that the happiness of the world depend on the amount of love between couples. The problems caused suggest the heterosexual bonding is best. Just as women have insecurities, men feel that if women joined together there will be no need for men, possibly excluding them or preferring the friendship and love between women to a man-woman relationship. This fear is partially based on reality, but also by projection. Since men have stronger bonds with each other, they exclude women from participation in tings in which they care about; they assume that woman, if granted the opportunity would do the same.

Mens main belief is that separating and conquering women is the only way to keep their power. (Scott 376) The essay written by George A. Bernard shows the fantasy and reality issues in the play. The fantasy world and real world exist apart from each other, never meeting at any point. The inhabitants of the fairy world are unreal in the sense that they lack feelings and intelligence.

The dream world, beyond mortals comprehension, strongly influences the entire realm of ordinary life. By nature of their humanity, Oberons power causes vulnerability in the human world. This fairy kingdom is essentially a dream, which appears whenever reason goes to sleep, and during this time Oberon controls all things. Such illusions and dreams, created by Oberon, can be dangerous if they block out humans perception of reality. As the play proves, these dreams perform an important function in life. (Scott 381) Fairies, part of the fantasy world, live in the kingdom in the vague, dream-like East. In this area, legends, myths, and impossible stories originate.

This placed is more commonly called “the dream world.” The East exists both during and after sleep. The fairies bring the stories to you from the East. The fairies never think and love, which explains all of the deceit and odd events that go on during the play. This is acceptable in their world, because all the laws that govern the world of reality have no existence in the dream world. The lovers fall between these two worlds and are affected by both.

The fairies make fools of the lovers, because humans are no accustomed to the fairys realm. In the real world, Hermia is sensible and Lysander is reasonable. They want to be together even against Egeus commands, which is reasonable thinking. As soon as the two are alone, imagination takes control of them and th …

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Does Shakespeare make any serious points in A midsummer nights dream,
or is it just a comedy? Shakespeares play, A midsummer nights 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 Oberons 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 Oberons 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 loves 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 Titanias 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 didnt 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 towns 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.

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The over simplicity of their production makes to be very entertaining. Despite
the humor in A midsummer nights 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 wasnt 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 Shakespeares 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 Lysanders eyes, things just got worse. Lysander
rejected Hermias 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 nights
dream, Oberon and Titania arent officially married, but they may as well
be. They fight like Husband and wife. This is mainly due to Oberons jealousy
over a child he thinks might be Titanias. “What jealous Oberon! Fairies,
skip hence; I have forsworn his bed and company.” Titania In the time the play
was written, there werent 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.


Shakespeares play A midsummer nights dream has been well written so
as it combines in an entertaining way, both humor and serious issues.

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