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

A Midsummer Night's Dream- Play within a play

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the role of the play- within- a- play in Act V of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Does the Pyramus and Thisbe story have any relevance to the main story, or is it simply a comical interlude? What effect does the mechanicals production of their play have on the tone of the play as a whole? The Pymamus and Thisbe story in Act V of A Midsummer Night's Dream plays an important role to the main story. Not only does the play- within- a- play echoes with the story of the four lovers- Helena, Hermia, Lysander and Demetrius, it also serves as a reinforcement of the theme: love. Though the mechanicals' production seems to be a comic interlude, it is a warning to both the pairs of lovers and to the audience about the potential danger brought by love's blindness. Despite the tragic content of the play- within- a- play, the mechanicals' comic illustration and performance makes the play a lot more lighthearted. On top of that, the play- within- a- play brings in the major message of the story- that "the best in this kind [of play] are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend[s] them." ...read more.

Middle

Splendid does the idea sound, but obviously elopement would not be the best solution. It is way too risky and dangerous and the main reason of them making such decision is that love makes a person impatient and selfish. As John Donne said in The Good Morrow, the lovers "possess one world, each hath one and is one", they are living in a world with no outsiders. The objections and obstacles "stand as an edict in destiny", a kind of "a customary cross" which teaches them "trial patience". Therefore, like a fence in front, what they only need to do is to jump over it. However, did they think about walking around it or any other methods? Echoing the main story, Thisbe as well though fully aware of the consequences, decides to make a rash decision and to meet Pyramus in a secret place, the Ninus' tomb. "Reason and love keep little company nowadays", in fact, both plays possess the same message. Towards the climax of both plays, the lovers no longer hold senses and unreason begins to appear. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play itself loses it seriousness and heaviness, and is then becoming a lot more like a comical interlude. As the actors lack knowledge towards acting and the play, it adds comic effect to the play. Overusing poetic techniques such as alliteration and weird acting made by the wall, lion and moonlight make the performance "the silliest stuff" ever heard. This in fact quite matches with the Duke's intention that "the pale companion is not for [his] pomp" and that "melancholy [should] forth to funerals". Instead of putting attention on the content of the play, much emphasis is on the simplicity of the workers. In fact, readers are reminded not to take the play seriously as they are just "dreams" which comes and goes quickly. As mentioned by Theseus "the best in this kind [of play] are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend[s] them." Therefore, we should take the play lightheartedly as they are no more than visions. All in all, the "tedious brief scene" parallels with the main story as both plays deal with the obstacles of love and the unreason of love. Though the play- within- a- play ends tragically, it turns out to have a hilarious ending and matches with the play's ending as well. ...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 A Midsummer Night's Dream 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 A Midsummer Night's Dream essays

  1. Explore the social and historical context through Shakespeares stagecraft in A Midsummer Nights Dream

    Because of Titania's and Oberon's fall out over 'a little changeling boy' the fairies have neglected the proper ceremonies and rituals so this has brought about disastrous consequences for the lives of the 'human mortals' because the fairies haven't dances since the beginning of the midsummer period.

  2. A Midsummer Nights Dream

    The potion will restore harmony within their relationship and love will run smoothly for them. As we are now in the woods we are introduced to the fairies, in particular Titania and Oberon who are the king and queen of the fairies.

  1. A Midsummer Nights Dream

    The humans are not aware of the fairies helping them as they can't see them, but the audience watching would be able to which is another good example of Shakespeare's stage craft. Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, who is Oberon's fairy servant has the role of helping Oberon with his problems.

  2. Midsummer Nights Dream

    and the purpose of a marriage is to unite the two opposites to bring accord. The theme is extended beyond the union of people. The play is intentionally full of these contrasts, which the audience should link with the human idea of marriage.

  1. How does Shakespeare make Act III scene I of A Midsummer Night(TM)s Dream dramatically ...

    Puck is a mischievous little fairy, he is witty and fast minded as well as being nimble on his feet, 'I'll put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes' He loves creating havoc and is responsible for nearly everything that goes wrong in the play.

  2. Midsummers' Night dream

    Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, is an evil and mischievous character who is said to 'fright the maiden of the villagery' and 'misleads night-travellers'. These two quotations clearly support my point on how mischievous a character Puck is. He is a fairy with the powers to transform his voice

  1. How does Shakespeare introduce the play's key themes of love, comedy and magic in ...

    "Through Athens I am thought as fair as she. But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so." This means that she knows that she is valued as being as beautiful as Hermia, but this does not matter to her because she is only interested in Demetrius.

  2. How does Shakespeare establish complications in relationships in Act 1 Scene 1 of a ...

    Helena thinks that Hermia is prettier than her when in Athens they are both regarded as being as equally as beautiful as each other. This also tells us that Helena is in a bad mood and not feeling so well over Demetrius.

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