• 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. 'A Mid Summer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare. How do events support Lysander's ...

    When Puck realises his mistake he takes the `love-in-idleness' and puts the juice into Demetrius's eyes to right his mistake and make him love Helena, Puck thankfully carries out this instruction correctly. Demetrius wakes in Helena's sight and falls in love with her instantly and very passionately: `O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!'

  2. Midsummer Nights Dream

    If Hippolyta is played as a strong character that is not happy about the marriage, but will go along with it for the good of her people, she could be a strong, positive female role model in favour of a single life.

  1. A Midsummer Nights Dream

    On the other hand though, blank verse has no end rhyme but each line still starts with a capital letter, which in the play is used a lot by Puck, "I'll apply to you eye, / Gentle lover, remedy. Prose resembles everyday speech which, in Latin, prose translates to 'straightforward'.

  2. Response to Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’

    The Hoffman version uses rich props and obscure settings, such as big colourful trees, to resemble the fairy world. Where as in the Noble version where there is a much smaller budget the fairy realm is represented by different colours and lighting effects and a minimal amount of obscure props, such as big umbrellas that the fairies float in on.

  1. A Midsummer Night's Dream Plot Outline

    Puck tells Oberon about Titania's love and how he gave a mortal an ass head. Demetrius and Hermia walk by and the fairies watch what is going on. Oberon then notices that Puck used the love juice on the wrong man and now things are not right.

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

    The two plays both feature heroines subject to their father's authority. Both relationships reflect the patriarchal society of Shakespeare's era of which the father was head of the household and their word was regarded by the family as law. To Hermia her 'father should be as God' so Hermia's disobedience

  1. A Midsummer Nights Dream

    Hermia's response to Theseus' offer is simple: 'So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord', she turns the offer down and would rather life her live a nun than to marry Demetrius. This once again echoes the speeches of Theseus, Lysander and Demetrius who are all prepared to

  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