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Compare the Role of Magic and the Supernatural in The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream

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  • Essay length: 2041 words
  • Submitted: 10/10/2011
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AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison

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Compare the Role of Magic and the Supernatural in the Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream

'The Tempest', one of William Shakespeare's final plays, has a combination of characters, interesting settings, and interesting plots and subplots all held together by the running theme of magic, and its ever-present importance. A closer examination of the magic in 'The Tempest', and the public's view of magic at the time, will give insight as to Shakespeare's choice of magic as a theme, and why it has made this play, as well as his others, so successful and timeless. 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', believed to be written between 1594 and 1596, is potentially less tragic than 'The Tempest', the magic which Shakespeare incorporates into this production seems much less vengeful and dark but more childish and playful, yet remains to be of the utmost importance to the play. 'The Tempest's' magic is much darker, perhaps reflecting a change in attitudes from Elizabethan to Jacobean audiences, as well as suggesting a possible shift in Shakespeare's own pre-occupations.

Both plays are highly magical and romantic. Throughout both plays Shakespeare exhibits love and romance in front of the audience, but with magic,

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