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Fairies: Beauty or Contentment?

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Fairies: Beauty or Contentment? Fairies- like witches- were widely accepted as real in the Elizabethan era. The witches in Macbeth still stir debate over whether they initiated Macbeth's crimes or simply anticipated then. What role do you think the fairies have in A Midsummer Night's Dream? Are they simply a theatrical device to create wonder and beauty on stage or do the fairies have a greater significance? How does Shakespeare use them? In correlation to Shakespeare's Macbeth, the role of the witches produces a direct connotation with the role of the fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The philosophical perception of fate is carried throughout both the dramas, enacting to drive the plot forward. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare uses the fairies to depict a magical setting, symbolizing beauty, love and contentment. These symbols form the basis of the play in context to the plot for the reason that these symbols drive the plot to come full circle by the 5th Act. However, the magical setting portrays Shakespeare's intent of having the interaction between the two worlds; hence the combination is what formulates the plots complications whilst further proving the drama to be a romantic comedy. ...read more.


"Of thy misprision must perforce ensue some true love turned, and not a false turned true." (3, 2 90). Furthermore, the fairies metaphorically represent gods within the comedy for the reason that they control the happenings within the real world as they seem to create the complications but then solve them at the end, thus being virtuous and moral; additionally signifying how the play has come full-circle. For example, after mistaking Lysander for Demetrius, the fight between Hermia and Helena, and Titania falling in love with Bottom all portray the complications which then are resolved through the magic of Oberon, as the four lovers get married in Act 5 Scene 1. "Lead these testy rivals so astray as one come not within another's way."(3, 2,358) Magic is a very powerful theme in correlation to the fairies as Shakespeare uses it to embody the powers of love and to create a surreal world. Although the misuse of magic causes chaos, it ultimately resolves the play's tensions by restoring love to balance among the quartet of Athenian youths. Additionally, the ease with which Puck uses magic to his own ends, as when he reshapes Bottom's head into that of an ass and recreates the voices of Lysander and Demetrius, stands in contrast to the gracelessness of the craftsmen's attempt to stage their play. ...read more.


The language that Shakespeare imposes into the conversations between the fairies is significant for the reason that they live in a different world, and Shakespeare attempts to make this apparent through the shift in language. Firstly, in much of the dialogue between the fairies, Shakespeare utilizes rhyming verses in order to evoke the magical ambiance of the play. For instance, "With a disdainful youth. Anoint his eyes; but do it when the next thing he espies."(2, 1,261) Furthermore, Shakespeare uses all the fives senses in Oberon's closing statement to show the magical world and beauty of the fairies. The looks represent Shakespeare's detail as the "enameled" makes the brightness of the snakeskin vivid; the feel of the place- what is the feeling of the snakeskin; taste and smell are appealed in "luscious" whilst the soothing sounds are portrayed through "oxlips" and "musk-roses." In conclusion, the fairies have brought a magical beauty to the play which not only emphasizes the notion of love and marriage but further signifies how their actions have led to the conclusion of the play. Their metaphorical characters as gods have allowed the play to come full-circle and solve all complications that have been instigated, even those that don't concern them, hence marking A Midsummer Night's Dream as a true romantic comedy. Rohan Kapoor ...read more.

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