Discuss William Shakespeare's Presentation of Order and Disorder in ‘a Midsummer Night’s Dream’

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Towards the end of the play, as the Athenian nobles prepare for the mechanicals’ performance, Theseus remarks, “How shall we find the concord of this discord?” This question relates to the whole play; the discords of Oberon and Titania and the lovers having been resolved into concord. The following mechanicals’ play of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ offers a new set of incongruous conjunctions reflecting - as in a distorting mirror - aspects of the earlier discords. In this play the apparently anarchic tendencies of the young lovers, of the mechanicals-as-actors, and of Puck are restrained by the "sharp Athenian law" and the law of the Palace Wood, by Theseus, Oberon, and their respective consorts. This tension within the world of the play is…show more content…
Puck is the catalyst for disorder, but he is also the caretaker of order. Puck 3.2.459 Every man should take his own, In your waking shall be shown: Jack shall have Jill; Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well. This passage shows that Puck lives up to his name “Goodfellow”, he is clearly a friend of the people and he knows what is to be done to “restore amends” of the young lovers’ confused relations. The line “Every man should take his own” is in keeping with the Tudor laws “A woman's body and her goods became her husband's property when she married and the law allowed him to do whatever he wanted with them.” Order would therefore be restored to a level familiar with the sexual edict of Tudor England. However, the Palace Wood isn’t entirely compliant with these social laws, the introduction of Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairy kingdom, shows the troubles of their relationship. When Oberon and Titania enter the scene, they do so separately from opposing doors; this creates an air of division and hostility between the pair. Their entrance is also marked by a change from rhyming couplets to blank verse: further accentuating the tension between them and giving the impression that they are incompatible as a ‘couplet’. Oberon greets Titania with the words “ill met by moonlight”, to which she replies that she has “forsworn his bed and company”. It

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