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a midsummers night's dream coursework

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Introduction

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Coursework 'Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the wood and its inhabitants' As the vast majority of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare is set within a wood, near the city of Athens, it is important to step back and thoroughly examine Shakespeare's presentation of the wood, as well as its inhabitants. Shakespeare presents the main inhabitants of the wood as fairies. There are many fairy characters in the play, but the main fairies are Oberon, the fairy king, and Titania, the fairy queen. Puck, a somewhat secondary fairy character, is a servant of Oberon's. Shakespeare presents them in individual ways, but still manages to enscapulate the ways in which they contrast to the mortals in the play. Shakespeare presents the setting of the wood in a way that makes it seem as if it is a different world altogether from the city. He makes exceptionally good use of imagery during acts 2, 3, and 4, which helps to present the surreal environment of the wood further. Shakespeare also uses clever language techniques to help show how the mortals are affected by this new environment, as well as revealing the sta0rk contrast between the wood and Athens. Oberon can be seen as the main fairy character. He is the fairy king, and seems to wield a lot of power. Shakespeare's initial presentation of Oberon is of a character who is angry and jealous. ...read more.

Middle

The fairy queen, Titania, is presented by Shakespeare as very proud. She holds her ground against Oberon, and seems like the more balanced of the pair. For example, before Shakespeare has her bewitched, he gives her lines such as: "But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport", civilised, challenging lines - as opposed to Oberon's selfish and arrogant lines, emphasized by the use of imperatives and monosyllables, such as "Give me that boy". In Titania's long speech, she makes a point about the disorder in the world, using lines such as "Therefore the winds ...", containing sibilance,which gives a softness to the line; as Titania is describing nature, it helps the audience understand further the beauty of nature, and even the natural surroundings. She begins her speech with an attack on Oberon - "These are the forgeries of jealousy". In the following speech, Shakespeare also uses plenty of imagery, and the imagery used helps to show the dramatic impact of Titania's mood. A good example of this imagery is her description of the frost which "falls in the fresh lap of the crimson rose". By using this natural imagery, Shakespeare is presenting to the audience Titania's angry mood. Shakespeare cleverly presents her anger by using the word "crimson", a colour closely related to red, which is the colour that many people associate with anger. Puck, Oberon's servant, is presented by Shakespeare in a different way to both Oberon and Titania. He is very mischeivous and also somewhat annoying. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another thing to note about this line is Shakespeare's use of sibilance - "sweet summer". This, along with the quaint imagery, 'softens' the line, and here Shakespeare is revealing that the wood is a beautiful environment. Shakespeare also uses imagery in an effective way to present the setting of the wood. He uses this imagery further to present the abject strangeness and confusion of the wood, whilst still retaining its magical air, and even giving a slightly exciting aspect to it. This presentation is especially noticeable during act 3 scene 1, where lovestruck Titania says to Bottom: "What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?" This natural imagery is a good example of Shakespeare using imagery to present the setting of the wood because Shakespeare has Titania talk about her "flowery bed". The effect of this is that it enables the audience to see the magic, confusion and even a sensual aspect of the wood, which was Shakespeare's intended idea. In conclusion, it is clear that Shakespeare presents the wood in numerous different ways, with one of the main things to note being the stark contrasts between the wood and the city: the city is hectic, uptight , and overrestraining, whereas the wood is exotic, carefree, and easygoing, but in Act 5, the return to the city feels like a relief. Shakespeare presents the wood as magical and sensual, as was revealed in the Titania - Bottom episode of the play. It is also frightening, as is shown in Hermia's nightmare, but also seems exciting. Alex Lyons 12SFBU 1 23/01/08 ...read more.

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