What makes Act 3 Scene 2 in a “midsummer night's dream” a ‘pivotal’ scene?

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Luke Plant          10S8                                           English Coursework                                                09/06/2002


 What makes Act 3 Scene 2 in a “midsummer nights dream” a ‘pivotal’ scene?



 In this essay I will discuss arguments for and against the statement that Act 3 Scene 2 is the ‘pivotal’ scene in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream. The events which take place in this scene are somewhat erratic and confusing so I will try to break them down into more manageable sections so they are easier to analyse and therefore make clearer and more concise points to put into my arguments.


 Act 3 Scene 2 begins directly after Titania falls in love with Bottom ( the ass ). This is one of the more comedic elements in the play and therefore will set a relaxed and up-beat atmosphere for the next scene ( Act 3 Scene 2 ). Also after this scene I feel there is a lot more order and less confusion as Oberon and Puck sort out Titania and bottom. This places Act 3 Scene 2 at the forefront of the most exciting section of the play but also to emphasise this it is just after the laming effects on Act 3 Scene 1.  


The scene begins with Puck telling the audience what he has done in the previous scene. He uses lines such as, “my mistress with a monster is in love,” and “ an ass’s nole I fixed on his head,” and I think Shakespeare has used this to emphasise the comedic elements of the last scene and this then leads in to the hectic confusion on Act 3 Scene 2 and also this increases the tempo of the play.

The major event described in this paragraph I think is the pivotal action. This is when Puck mixes up the love potion. I think that this shapes the rest of the play because without this the lover’s would never have argued and then there wouldn’t have been the dramatic change in the plays tempo so this scene would not have appeared so crucial and ‘pivotal’ to the play as a whole. So therefore without this there would have been no comedic element about the way in which humans acts under the ‘influence’ of love for Shakespeare to show as one of the main differences between the humans and the fairies.

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The Fight between Helena and Hermia is also important as is the fight between Lysander and Demetrius. The fights are all centred around love and this coincides with when Puck says, “ …what fools these mortals be…” and this is also referring to the way humans act when they are in love. This is also showing the audience that the fairies rule over the humans because they do not have these strong emotions and therefore do not act so like lovesick teenagers when they are in love.

The overall effect of such a long and action packed scene ...

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