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A middsummer nights dream

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use the two settings of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' to explore the two sides of human conciousness This essay will be discussing the play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', written by the popular playwright William Shakespeare. The play is a romantic comedy, it addresses many issues that were around in the period it was written. These issues include such things as women's rights and the dominance of male society and quite severe class divides. The play is set in two different places, the domestic and public sphere, represented by the city of Athens and the home, this is the waking concious world where there are rules and regulations and everyone has a set place, the other setting is the woods, this is the subconscious world ruled by fairies and full of magic, in this world anything can happen, people change roles in society and spells are cast. This essay will be discussing the importance of these factors and also discussing aspects of control and other topics that are visible throughout the essay. We see the first aspect of control in the play in the first act of scene one, when Theseus is talking to Hippolyta in his palace the day before the wedding: "Hippolyta, I ...read more.

Middle

This displays that the removal of rules and regulations in society is not always a good thing, although there would be freedom and no oppression, all protection would disappear because of the lack of rules. Although the the couple are in the woods without the regulations of the city roles have not completely reversed as Demetrius is still completely dominant, this is shown when he threatens Helena with rape and commands her to leave his company. Helena has, as she entered the wood, become emotionally overpowered and has taken leave of all of her usual senses and composure. This shows that in the woods, normal human nature has been changed and emotion has taken over. Demetrius describes Helena's virginity as 'rich', this shows that virginity was important at the time as women were seen as pure when going into marriage, this also means that Helena is seen as a possession and owned by men. When Demetrius says that Helena has commit herself into his hands this is showing that women were seen as fragile and things that must be protected by men who were seen as the stronger sex. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion has shown that women were doubly oppressed, they were oppressed in the home and in the city. We see this when Theseus is dominating Hippolyta before their wedding and sees her as a trophy of war. The oppression is not only inflicted on women, it is also cast upon the lower classes such as the mechanicals, we see this when they have to escape to the woods to get away from this. The subconscious world is symbolically explored by the woods when the lovers have to venture into the woods but are overpowered by love, passion and acrimony. The time spent between the two worlds is also an exploration of the subconscious human mind and the difference between the transferral between the two worlds, this is represented when the lovers wake from a sleep which is symbolising the journey they take between the two worlds and the fact that they find themselves between the woods and Athens also shows this. At the end we see the order and rule being restored and everything returning back to normal after the chaos that was induced by the removal of rules, we see this throughout many different aspects whether it Theseus overruling or women again being oppressed. ...read more.

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