Robin's Epilogue in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

3107 Words13 Pages
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare masterfully crafts a play with three very different viewpoints that can be interpreted, when woven together, in a number of ways that range from seemingly obvious interpretations to ones much more subtle. He ends the play with an apology that is just as elusive as the play’s interpretation. If one looks past the obvious, however, one can begin to piece together a possible message that mortals, no matter the power they hold on earth, are subject to far greater unseen powers whether they believe in them or not. Shakespeare’s epilogue at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has haunted many critics and resulted in numerous interpretations. Through Robin, he clearly gives the audience a message, but…show more content…
Stowed in his arsenal of inspiration for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a base knowledge of fairy lore that Roger Lancelyn Green in “Shakespeare and the Fairies” attributes to: he had two very important sources: on the one hand the actual superstitions still alive in Warwickshire when he was a boy, and on the other the general literary tradition which he seems to have soaked in at every pore when he was serving his apprenticeship to the theatre during his first ten or twelve years in London. (89) Growing-up in a time and place that still believed in fairies could instill the framework that these mystical beings do indeed share the world with humans, or, at the very least, create a desire or fascination in him to learn and study more about them. However, Shakespeare’s fairies seem to have an added element that separates them from traditional fairies. Walter F. Staton in “Ovidian Elements in A Midsummer Night’s Dream” believes this difference is due to Ovid’s popularity during this time. His influence can clearly be seen in other Shakespearian works such as The Rape of Lucrece and Venus and Adonis. Shakespeare was not alone during this rash of Ovid imitation; in addition, his influence can also be seen in works such as “Marlowe’s Hero and Leander, Drayton’s Piers Gaveston…[and] Dickinson’s Arisbas”

More about Robin's Epilogue in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Open Document