Essay Act V in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

2868 Words12 Pages
Act V in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare A: The final act at first seems completely unnecessary to the overall plot of the play. After all, in Act Four we not only have the lovers intent on getting married, but there has been a happy resolution to the overall conflict. Thus, the immediate question which arises is why Shakespeare felt it necessary to include this act. The answer lies in part with the entrance of all the characters in the final scene (with the exception of Egeus); this acts as a sort of encore to resolve any unanswered questions the audience may have about any of the characters. In Act Five the play is resolved with a typical happy ending with Lysander and…show more content…
This too has to be done if the happy ending is to be maintained. Philostrate is another example of disgruntled party in Act Five as well as Egeus as he didn't want to see the mechanical's play again, but in the end was simply overruled by Theseus. Perhaps Shakespeare is trying to make the point that this, like many plays' conclusions, might be a manufactured happy ending. When you had read halfway through the play the last thing that you would have seen coming was a happy ending, in this way the happy ending isn't cheap and wasn't predictable. It was also most clearly the result of crucial help from the "fairies". Perhaps the most telling line of the last act is when Theseus asks, "How shall we find the concord of this discord?" but that is exactly what has happened in the play itself, namely there has been a resolution to the discord of the lovers in the initial scenes, which by the end has turned into concord. This makes the play perfect for an epithalamium (a play "put on" at a wedding). Perhaps Shakespeare may even have been contracted to write this play as an epithalamium. The sub-plot, revolving around the mechanicals, also ends happily. Bottom is not "transported" as they had feared, but arrives in time to "save" the interlude, which,
Get Access