A Midsummer Night’s Dream is comedy literature by William Shakespeare. The play was written in 1595/96 portraying the happenings around the marriage of Hippolyta and Theseus, Duke of Athens. The marriage was a four-day festival that would be characterized by entertainment and pomp.
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Egeus wants his daughter, Hermia to marry Demetrius. However, she does not want to comply with her father’s wishes since she is in love with Lysander. Egeus wants action to be taken against her for disobeying the wishes of her father (Shakespeare 3). Theseus gives Hermia until the wedding day to have made a decision or else she is executed or taken to a convent. The scene is concurrent with that of two groups in the woods. One is of a band of fairies that include Oberon and Tatiana, while the other is of Athenian artisans that are preparing a play to perform at the wedding. Shakespeare can outline a variety of themes in the play which provide a deeper meaning to the message he intended to portray. The concept of magic and dreams form a critical part of the entire play and helps in advancing the storyline as well as the intended message. It makes the reader view the happenings in a new light and developing significant interpretations. As the play expands it is a warp between the feeling of dreaming and reality. It expands the audiences into laughter of wondering the reality of A Midsummers Night’s Dream.
The fairies’ magic plays a critical role in advancing the theme of the play. It illustrates the hilarious and bizarre elements of the play. There are facts and fiction that are associated with the use of magic in the different scenes. One of the significant uses of magic is to describe the supernatural power of love that can make people focus on loving one individual (Dent 117). The use of love portion is critical in helping illustrate the power of love that may surpass other aspects in life. For instance, Demetrius and Lysander are influenced by the magical juice, and they follow Helena, both of them confessing the love they have for her. It is a mysterious type of love since Lysander forgets about Hermia with whom he had fallen with love with. Shakespeare focuses on showing the power of love and how it can influence individuals in going to a different extent to find what love. It is critical to note that despite the use of magic in influencing the decisions of Lysander and Demetrius, they depict the impact and the power of love. It is also clear that magic could be used for the right reasons and as a result, creates a magical effect on the individuals that are subjected to the aspect. For instance, Demetrius is forced to love Helena since she loves him very much. Consequently, magic has been used for the right reasons and it has created a significant impact in magically illustrating the power of love. Magic is also used in the play to cause chaos and as a result, allow Puck to have his way.
Lysander and Demetrius fall in love with the same girl, and as a result, they are in some form of conflict. Helena does not know what to do with the two gentlemen that are confessing their love for her. She is confused and is not aware of whether they are telling her the truth or they are just playing with her emotions. The use of magic has confused and caused chaos between the characters. Moreover, Titania falls in love with Bottom’s voice despite him having a head of a donkey. It is during the period that Oberon uses the young Indian prince that had been given to Titania as a knight. He takes the opportunity that had been created by the magic used by Puck to influence his way. Shakespeare is keen to illustrate that magic may have some detrimental effect on the relationships individuals have with each other (Szakolczai 12). The use of magic negatively influences the relationship between Oberon and Titania. Oberon ensures that he uses magic to distract Titania and as a result get what he wants. The use of magic to affect one party negatively is an aspect that is evident in contemporary society, and it is guided by selfishness and greed. Shakespeare is aware that magic is both used for the good and the bad; hence, he illustrates so in the play. However, it is suitable for the use of magic to always portray the good as opposed to the bad.
Dreams also form a significant part of the themes advanced in the play. They are linked to the magical and bizarre happenings in the forest. At the beginning of the play, Hippolyta’s words portray the prevalence of dreams and the effects it may have in the entire play. He states that fur nights will quickly dream away the time. It is evident that dreams influence the aspect of time and may lead to individuals forgetting the actual happenings. It is an element that Shakespeare uses in conjunction with magic to illustrate the aspect of reality in advancing the various themes (Hendricks 42). For instance, when there is the use of magic and the individuals involved are made to believe it was a dream, there is a link between fiction and reality. Bottom is unable to fathom the happenings that are caused by magic and as a result, states that they are caused by slumber. He recognizes the element of dreams as critical in addressing the aspects of magic that cannot be explained. Similarly, in contemporary society, individuals do not recognize magic; instead, they link it to dreams and hallucinations. It is similar to the position Shakespeare takes in the play since he uses dreams to convince the characters that there was no magic involved in the happenings they experienced. The aspect of dreams as portrayed in the play show of happenings that are fictitious and unbelievable.
Consequently, the characters that have been subjected to magic believe whenever they are convinced that they had a dream and nothing of the experiences they went through was actual and real. The actual workings of dreams also take center stage in advancing the themes of the play. Shakespeare focuses on illustrating how events occur without explanation as well as time losing the normal sense of flow and as a result, the impossible happens. He mixes the element of magic and dream in the forest to show how dreams work clearly and the extent the cause events that are explainable (Miller 258). For instance, Bottom changes to have a head of a donkey. It is critical to note that it is hard to explain how the head of a person can change to that of a donkey in the real world. Such a phenomenon could only be explained if they are linked to dreams. Similarly, Lysander and Demetrius shift their love for Helena, but previously they loved Hermia. The change is fast, and they cannot explain how they fall in love with Helena to the extent they insult Hermia. For instance, Lysander does not want to see Hermia anywhere near whenever they are with Helena. It is an aspect that cannot be explained easily since also the subjects cannot describe the sudden turn of events that has made them change their position on love. Such happenings can be described as dreams since no one can fathom what has transpired.
At the end of the play, Puck illustrates the idea of dreams to the audience by telling them if someone has been offended they should remember that is nothing more than a dream. The illusion and bizarreness in the play are critical in illustrates the different themes Shakespeare would not have been able to advance if he had used the elements of reality in the entire play. Conclusion A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy play that includes both fictitious and reality aspects. Shakespeare is keen on advancing the themes as well as the intended message; hence, he uses a variety of tactics. He focuses on the concepts of magic and dreams as the propelling force of advancing the themes. Since the use of magic would be unfamiliar to the characters, he incorporated the aspect of dreams to make it easier for them to explain some of the bizarre happenings in the different scenes. It creates a fantastical experience in the play that is interesting to read.
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