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Midsummers' Night dream

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Discuss the importance of magic in A Midsummer Night's Dream. A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of Shakespeare's well known romantic comedies written sometime in the sixteenth century. The play is an adventure of four young Athenian lovers and a group of laborious and graceful actors in a forest. These amateur actors are attempting to stage their play at the wedding of The Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of Amazon, Hippolyta. The play is set in a moonlit forest where the world of the 'fairies' collide with the lover's world. These fairies cause all the magic in the play and the consequences of it are chaos, comedy and resolution. Why did Shakespeare write this supernatural comedy? This play was first played at a wedding during the Elizabethan when comedies were very popular. All comedies contained five elements which were essential. These are wit, verbal jokes, mistaken identity, music and poetry. Wit was seen as a silly argument and the first example of it is when the two men fight over Hermia. For example Lysander describes Demetrius as a 'spotted and inconstant man'. This is also an example of a verbal joke which is seen throughout the play. ...read more.


An example of this can be seen when Oberon says to Titania 'Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,/knowing I know thy love to Theseus?' This shows to the reader that Oberon and Titania have manipulated Theseus and Hippolyta. Oberon, Titania and the other fairies do not just use magic in their 'kingdom' but also in the 'real' world to gain what they want. This shows us how sinister and important magic can be as it is used everywhere for good and terrible causes. Finally the battle between Oberon and Titania over has devastated nature and hurt people but neither one cares showing their sinisterness. We can see this when Titania concludes her speech saying these 'evils comes/ From our debate, from our dissension.' This demonstrates that despite the fact they know what is happening due to their argument, none of them are concerned. Regardless of the importance of magic it is iniquitous in some ways. The love potion is made from the juice of a flower that was struck with one of Cupid's misfired arrows. Once the juice is laid 'on sleeping eyelids', it will make the 'man or women dote/ Upon the next live creature that it sees.' ...read more.


The line where Oberon tells Puck to 'lead these testy rivals so astray,/ As one come not within another's way' shows that he does not want the two friends to fight each other. This supports my point that no harm being done to anyone. Oberon then crushes the 'herb into Lysander's eyes' as well as Titania's so that their false love is destroyed. Finally he tells Puck to 'take this transformed scalp/ From off the head of this Athenian swain [Bottom].' These all points show that however important magic is, it does no harm to anyone in the end. To conclude magic is probably the most important theme in the play. The whole play is based around magic and without it the play would be nothing. But is magic real? The lines where it is written 'May all to Athens back again repair/ And think no more of this night's accidents/ But as the fierce vexation of a dream' leaves the reader thing that all the magic and all supernatural events was just a dream. However, the overall atmosphere of the play is a magical one which Shakespeare creates by a mixture of the real world colliding with a mythical one. Shakespeare ending the play with Puck's speech about it all being a vision leaves the reader to decide whether it was all genuine or just fantastical. Name: Rajit Shail English Coursework 10C1 Midsummer Night's Dream ...read more.

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