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What makes "A Midsummer Night's Dream" an Elizabethan comedy?

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  • Essay length: 3059 words
  • Submitted: 20/10/2004
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AS and A Level A Midsummer Night's Dream

The first 200 words of this essay...

What makes "A Midsummer Night's Dream" an Elizabethan comedy?

William Shakespeare wrote "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1595. The play written right before "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was "Romeo and Juliet", which also emphasized on romantic love and the complications it can cause. However, while "Romeo and Juliet" was written as a tragedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" develops to become a romantic comedy.

The first scene presents evidence of a tragic story rather than a comedy. Hermia, in love with Lysander, is refusing to marry the man of her father's choice, Demetrius. Egeus, father of Hermia, is enraged by such disposition.

"As she is mine, I may dispose of her :

Which shall be either to this gentleman,

Or to her death, according to our law."

Egeus wants the law of Athens to be put into function; he wants Hermia to be put to death rather than marry against his wishes. This opening is effective in marking the play as an Elizabethan comedy. There has been order in the beginning with Theseus and Hippolyta talking of their marriage, but this is slowly beginning to tilt towards disorder and unhappiness.

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