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Importance of Magic in a Midsummer Night's Dream

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Introduction

Oliver Newland Task: Discuss the importance of magic in A Midsummer Night's Dream 10c1 English Coursework Magic is probably the main theme in A Midsummer Nights Dream. It plays a vital and extensive role in each story - line. Each time Shakespeare uses magic, there is an important - if subtle - consequence. Shakespeare explores many aspects of magic, including how it causes problems and how it solves them. Magic is often used by Shakespeare to support and implement the comedic sections of the play. Before I explore the importance of magic in the play, I must explore magic itself, as it means different things to different people and to different cultures. Magic is defined in the dictionary as "Any art that invokes supernatural powers". However, to other people and the majority of religions, magic is an evil force within the world, practiced by sinners and wrong - doers. This seems to be the main view of the society Shakespeare lived in. However, nowadays magic is generally not believed in. This seems to be Shakespeare's point of view; this can be seen by his use of magic to create a comedic and mischievous - though certainly not evil- atmosphere throughout the play. ...read more.

Middle

These subplots can seem slightly insignificant and trivial at times, however, they all merge to create a gripping and interesting story. Magic is also used to solve or correct the problems at the end of the play. This can be seen where Shakespeare writes "... Jack shall have Jill; / Nought shall go ill: / The man shall have his mare again and all shall be well..." This can also be seen in Puck's final speech, for example "... Think but this and all is mended..." The lovers are all as they were - except Demetrius who now loves Helena (though this is a good thing); Bottom's head is restored etc. These, when combined form the resolution/conclusion of the play. Without the use of magic, normality would not have been restored. The play would not have had a proper ending. This supports my opinion that magic plays a fundamental and imperative part in the play. Magic is also used to make the lovers happy. Demetrius is made to fall in love with Helena. Consequently, Hermia can marry Lysander, with whom she is in love. ...read more.

Conclusion

After all, what is Puck? A mischievous being of magic that invokes supernatural events. This again is evidence of the importance of magic. Puck is often the character to inflict magic upon others resulting in a catastrophic yet comedic effect. Without the use of Puck's magic, the lovers would not have ended up falling in love with the wrong people, and as this is the main storyline in A Midsummer Night's Dream I think this is one of the most significant roles that magic plays and proves its necessity to the play. Magic, is therefore a significant factor of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is woven into most of the subplots and plays an extremely important role in the main plot. In my opinion, it would have been impossible for Shakespeare to have written this play without including magic. Therefore, magic is almost definitely the most important and essential theme of the A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare impresses this significance on us using all of the story - lines in the play. It affects nature, physical appearance and even the mind. Magic is used both positively and negatively throughout the story. It is often the cause of problems, but ultimately it solves them. ...read more.

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