An Analysis of the ‘Happy Ending’ of Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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All’s Well That Ends Well… Or Is It? An analysis of the ‘Happy Ending’ of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is commonly said that “all’s well that ends well.” In the case of the comedies of William Shakespeare, this is almost universally true. With specific regard to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the machinations of Oberon are able to bring together Lysander and Hermia, as well as Helena and Demetrius, in a way that provides for the happiest of conclusions. As readers of the play, however, this is also a conclusion that we can anticipate from the first scene. The comedies trace formulaic patterns in which even the most unbelievable circumstances can be resolved by the play’s end, and the performance can end with marriage…show more content…
While we expect symmetrical pairings to emerge between these four in order to achieve happiness, the system is not without its own inherent flaws. Hermia must choose a single lover, which is to say that the “happy ending” hinges upon the unhappiness of the man who is not chosen. It is only through the machinations of the play’s metatheatrical stage managers that the issue of Demetrius’ unhappiness can be smoothed over into something that resembles the happy ending we expect as an audience. It is, in the end, the Faeries’ magic that allows the happy ending to emerge from all the chaos within the Green World, even if some of that chaos was caused by the Faeries to begin with. Puck, for instance, mistakenly applies the love-in-idleness to Lysander’s eyelids and causes him to fall in love with Helena. Oberon later realizes the mistake, and utilizes the love-in-idleness once more to enchant Demetrius, so it is now Helena who has too many suitors, and Hermia too few. Magic becomes the only force capable of undoing its own mischief, and resolves the play’s tensions by restoring a balance to the love between the four young Athenians. That surreal, fantastic element in the play’s major action allows for happiness to come to light in the end, even if we view the outside influence as something artificial within the relationships. While the Faeries are certainly a force to help the play reach

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