• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Extracts from this document...


A Midsummer Night's Dream Model Essay "Lord, what fools these mortals be." (III.ii.116) Commenting on language and actions, how true is Puck's statement. A Midsummer Night's Dream was written by William Shakespeare c.1595. It was probably written to be performed at the wedding of a longstanding patron of the actors with whom Shakespeare worked. The play is set in Athens, Greece and draws upon traditional folktales by incorporating characters such as Oberon, Titania and Robin Goodfellow. Mythological references are also made with the inclusion of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Shakespeare also makes reference to Tudor festivals by adding references to harvest and maypoles. The play features four main groups of characters, The Court, The Lovers, The Rude Mechanicals, and the Fairies. The four groups are linked by running themes including, love, marriage, night and also the natural world. At the beginning of the play the audience is introduced to Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons who are preparing to marry. Their marriage has come about from Hippolyta's defeat in war; "I have woo'ed thee with my sword." ...read more.


Quince is the organized and disciplined leader in contrast to the egotistical and self absorbed Bottom. Their characters serve to highlight the distinctions drawn between order and chaos that run throughout the play. The main function of the Mechanicals is to provide an overt comic distraction from the actions of the Lovers and Court. Their foolishness is seen in their lack of understanding of the play, and in their misuse of language. Bottom makes continual malapropisms and in wishing to play all the parts fails to understand simple theatrical conventions. By rehearsing in the woods the Mechanicals add to the chaotic nature of the woods that is echoed by the actions of the Lovers nearby. Shakespeare highlights The Mechanicals as simple and awkward by writing their parts in prose form. The absence of rhyme and rhythm contrasts sharply to the music and song of The Fairies. Puck's arrival signals the start of further confusion, as he interferes with the "hempen homespuns". Like the situation between the Court and the Lovers, Oberon and Titania are in love but temporarily thrown into chaos with their argument over the possession of the Indian Boy. ...read more.


As the play draws to a close the fairies are left on stage with Robin Goodfellow, wishing the audience goodnight. As Puck leaves the stage the audience might wonder whether they can trust his promise to "make amends" given his actions during the play. The Mechanicals are the obvious target for the label of foolishness. However, we must not forget the foolishly ignorant actions of the Court that drove the Lovers into the wood, and to the resulting farcical situation. Nor, can we ignore the foolish behaviour of Titania, the Fairy Queen, and Bottom. However, if one group had to be singled out as fools, it must be that of Oberon and his henchman Puck, who are ultimately that cause of the chaos. Oberon's saving grace is that he is the one who reasserts order. Therefore, the mischievous Puck must be held responsible. Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream remains one of his most enjoyable works. The play endures because the themes of love and marriage are as relevant to society today as they were in the sixteenth century. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level A Midsummer Night's Dream section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level A Midsummer Night's Dream essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Write an essay on the following passage (3.1.80-135) from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    4 star(s)

    If sleep and waking can be argued to represent the passage between reality and imagination in the Dream, there is some irony in Titania, a resident of the imaginary world of the fairies, awaking and stepping out of her own reality into an imaginary love for Bottom.

  2. Why is Bottom such a well-loved character? Explain with reference to 'A Midsummer Nights ...

    A Midsummer's Nights Dream William Shakespeare wrote a midsummer's night dream in 1595. He wrote this comedy to celebrate the marriage of a noble man. An important guest at the wedding was Elizabeth 1st. The play describes the adventures of two sets of lovers as they pass through the forest

  1. A Midsummer's Night Dream

    Shakespeare does this so the play ends on a happy not but also to show the real play could have become a tragedy as well. But on the other hand when viewing the film version of the play remade in 1999 and directed by Michael Hoffman, I got the impression

  2. 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

    As the first couple, Theseus and Hippolyta, make their way up the stairs, correctly and with decorum, with their arms intertwined they gradually, step by step, make their way to the top with perfect synchronisation. Here, Theseus steps ahead, and opens the door politely; allowing Hippolyta to enter first, then gently shuts the door behind her.

  1. What qualities would you look for in casting the actors playing Helena and Hermia ...

    Hermia refuses to look and remains on the ground covering her face and weeping into her hands so that all the audience can hear is whimpering and snivelling, to add to the comic situation she eventually wipes her nose on her lace sleeve and sniffs to show that she still has the characteristics of a young girl.

  2. A Midsummer Night's Dream is an exploration of thematic opposites such as day/night, love/freedom ...

    On one hand, freedom is nice but it can become excessive and dangerous. These are two extremes and show how the middle way is the way of contentment. The lovers soon grow tired of their ultimate freedom. "O weary night, O long and tedious night, ...

  1. To what extent is the mechanicals' performance of Pyramus’s and Thisby a success?

    I think that the prologue makes the audience wonder what is going to offend them, This makes the audience interested in what is going to happen. The next noticeable error that the mechanicals make is where Quince uses too much alliteration.

  2. Compare and contrast the writers presentation of love and hate in The End of ...

    Similarly to the Duke's relationship with the Duchess, Oberon's relationship with Titania is also one which varies greatly over time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work