• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Puck a Knavish Sprite or a Malign Spirit?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is Puck a Knavish Sprite or a Malign Spirit? This question is asked since, throughout the play Puck partakes in a variety of different situations that display his personality and character; he plays a main role and features significantly in the view of the audience. The issue may be debated because there is sufficient evidence indicating that he is both a knavish sprite and a malign spirit. The mystery of Puck begins to tease our brains in Act 2 Scene 1 where his conversation uncovers primary details of him being a 'knavish sprite'. 2:1 L33 states exactly that. Also the fairy continues to regurgitate the knavish tricks Puck often inflicts: Are not you he That frights the maidens of the villagery (2:1 L35) The fairy then proceeds to reveal that he is known to, Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm (2:1 L39) These activities may seem immature but, as the fairy acknowledges the fact that he laughs at their harm, the audience may now believe that he bears no respect for his innocent victims. This cruelty may hint at an abuse of his powers but, more drastically, the hint of a malign spirit. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that Lysander and Demetrius are following illusions until they finally give up may be a moral point illustrating the silly illusions we sometimes follow, especially with as much aggression as Demitrius and Lysander possessed and then we lose interest and lack will power. Puck was delighted with this and found it all terribly amusing; the whole scenario demonstrates how superior the fairies are to us, but still, humans do not believe in super-natural beings sharing "their" world. Shakespeare then sets Puck to work; he is equipped with powers capable of embarrassing humans, I'll be an auditor, An actor too perhaps, if I see cause. (3:1 L62) It seems Puck has spotted another opportunity but as revealed to us from 2:1 L88, Puck has recognized and taken advantage of a cunning situation. The audience may first believe Puck is playing the knavish trick of converting Bottom's head for his personal enjoyment but his more intellectual intentions are made clear as he explains to Oberon that he transformed a Mechanical as they were near the sleeping Titania. He also tells Oberon he translates The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort (3:2 L13) This comment directly hints at malign behaviour as he is targeting the weakest and most mentally challenged member, which can promote a sense of evil behind Puck's plot. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think Shakespeare is writing to entertain but simultaneously to relieve thoughts from inside himself which otherwise will lay dormant. As a result Shakespeare has produced a character containing the ability to perform knavish tricks and that is all he does, Puck has been created to not realize or think of others but himself, which are child-like characteristics and we can not accuse a selfish child of being malign. However I think Puck is malign in his thoughts as Shakespeare is, although Puck may not be the main character, this is the character Shakespeare is most fond of he has projected his feelings through the less obvious servant rather than the dominant Oberon. However for 'A Midsummer's Nights Dream' to remain a comedy and for Shakespeare to feel secure about not blatantly exposing his feelings, Puck only acts knavish, and not so malign that the humour is unappreciated. With this good balance of both knavish and malign behaviour Shakespeare has approached the borderline of funny and chilling but thankfully has not crossed this line. The audience will recognize and appreciate this, and agree that Puck is certainly a character that will be noted as one of Shakespeare's most wicked but also memorable. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Shakespeare Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Shakespeare Plays essays

  1. Shakespeare-Midsummer Night's dream

    This is quoted on act 4 scene 1, "come sit thee down...and kiss thy fair large ears my gentle joy". The way the mechanicals play is presented by Shakespeare's language, makes it look impractical. In the video adaptation, the play is what I thought helped made the performance entertaining and theatrical.

  2. A midsummers nights dream Act 3 Scene 1

    When flute is playing his character Thisby, he would be quite hesitant as he doesn't like the fact he has to play a woman. Flute sees himself as a masculine figure, who has a beard coming and now seen he has been given the role feels emasculated.

  1. Critical Approaches to Shakespeare: Some Initial Observations.

    Hence, their interactions are more than just clashes of particular personalities. The Approach Through Thematic Analysis That last point about how dramatic characters are also, to some extent, representatives of social types is a reminder that their dramatic impact includes more than their unique personalities.

  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    Puck is introduced slightly before this scene. In the Open Air Theatre Production he is with one other fairy, and they discuss the problems caused by Oberon and Titania's arguing. Puck is reserved, until the other fairy realises who he is and then he enacts his mischief and leaps around the stage.

  1. Discussing the Works of Shakespeare.

    Antony and Cleopatra (1606?) is concerned with a different type of love, namely the middle-aged passion of Roman general Mark Antony for Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Their love is glorified by some of Shakespeare's most sensuous poetry. In Macbeth (1606?), Shakespeare depicts the tragedy of a man who, led on by

  2. Are we meant only to laugh at Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, or ...

    A further point to consider is Bottom's deviation from the Scripture. Bottom states in his monologue referred to above: [That] man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive..." The Scripture on the other hand states: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard..."

  1. EN2372 Shakespeare:

    By using modern day language, perhaps the filmmakers should receive some praise as they have made their young viewers aware of the character's dilemmas and distresses through a use of language, which is suitable to them. By doing this, perhaps the filmmakers have produced a film which will make

  2. Sonnet 2 Analysis

    Lines 13 and 14 say he will have relief when his is old if he has someone new to carry on his beauty and he would see his own warm blood flow through his son when he is cold. Many descriptive words have been used and different language techniques have

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work