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Explore the theme of Appearance and Reality in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Introduction

Faye Jarvis 10A Explore the theme of Appearance and Reality in A Midsummer Night's Dream. A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy, written by William Shakespeare. It's made up of madness, confusion, mayhem, illusions and obviously dreams, as it says in it title. A key theme to A Midsummer Night's Dream is appearance and reality. This is where the confusion starts. The Artisans fail to grasp the difference between appearance and reality, this adds to the humour of the play. The setting of A Midsummer Night's Dream is in Athens and the woods. Athens represents reality. And the woods symbolise illusion. The power of love, magic and imagination add to the madness and illusion of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The play itself is an illusion. In order to enjoy the illusion of A Midsummer Night's Dream, we need to suspend reality. Love, whether induced by magic or real, often robs people of their common sense and makes it difficult to tell what is real. At the start of the play, we are introduced to the idea that songs, moonlight and poetry are able to influence people's feelings. "This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires" Also at the start of the play, Egeus speaks harshly of Lysander. He accuses Lysander of stealing Hermia's love. He doesn't believe that Hermia loves Lysander of her own free will, and is convinced it is because of trickery. ...read more.

Middle

"To make an ass of me" This is ironic because he already is an ass. What is also ironic is that Bottom speaks more sense when he is an ass than when he wasn't one. "Reason and love keep little company together" By this he means that love has no reason, and that love often robs people of their senses. This is humorous, because once he has transformed into an ass, he is the only one speaking sense, and what he says is exactly true to A Midsummer Night's Dream. Bottom comments on his experience in the wood. "It hath no Bottom" By saying this he means that it made no sense, which is ironic, because the whole play makes no sense. Bottom thinks his experience was a dream, and will not believe that it actually happened. Bottom and the Artisans find it difficult to grasp the difference between appearance and reality. They are constantly using ridiculous things to make up for props that they do not have. The Artisans realise that they have no wall, so Bottom says that they can dress up one of them as a wall. "Some man or other must present wall" Quince also points out that they need 'moonshine', because Pyramus and Thisbe meet by moonlight. His solution is to dress a man up and give him a lantern to hold. "With a bush of thorns and a lantern" Bottom also steps out of character when he dies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Later on in the play their language changes because the love juice has worn off, and they are no longer under the influence of the love juice. Their language is no longer as dramatic and overdone. Demetrius says: "These things seem small and indistinguishable, Like far-off mountains turned into clouds" By this he means that the mountains are reality, and the clouds are illusion, and they meet half way, getting muddled up. A lot like A Midsummer Night's Dream in whole. A Midsummer Night's Dream is only tragic in appearance because it is too comical to be taken seriously. We do not worry about it because we know that the conflicts will be resolved in the end. Helena believes that the others are having a "sweet jest" against her in "sport", and Puck enjoys watching the "sport" of the "fond pageant". The word sport suggests that it is all a game, and that it cannot be taken seriously. The audience is not threatened by A Midsummer Night's Dream because it knows it is just a bit of fun. This enables the audience to enjoy the confusion and misunderstandings. Pucks role at the end of the play is to explain to the audience about the play. He says that if you find A Midsummer Night's Dream complicated, then treat it as a dream. Puck also has to break the illusion of the play. "Give me your hands if we be friends" This means to clap for them, and by doing this the illusion, and reality of the play will be broken, and everyone will return to the real world. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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