A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Worlds Collide
Four worlds collide in a magical woods one night in midsummer in William Shakespeare's mystical comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The mythological duke of Athens, on the eve of his wedding to the newly defeated Queen of the Amazons, is called upon by the mortal Egeus to settle a quarrel. Hermia, Egeus's vociferous daughter, refuses to marry the man her father has betrothed to her, the enamored Demetrius. Theseus sides with authoritarian Egeus and forces Hermia to marry Demetrius or face death. Defiantly, Hermia and her love, Lysander, resolve to elope and abscond into the woods, confessing their plan only to Hermia's covetous…show more content…
Shakespeare's unique talent for creating poetry is effective in both establishing character and demonstrating the theme. The characters of the play all speak in poetic form with the exception of the English rustics who speak in prose. This helps to place the fairies and lovers on a higher, more transcendental plane than the artisans. Therefore, the artisans become more comical and lighten up the confusing comedy of love. The poetry of Shakespeare's genius also clarifies the play's theme of the extreme confusion and blinding powers of love. The rhythmic words help to create a magical setting of love while the rhymes portray the confusion each character feels while under the stupefying powers of love.
Some optimists have compared love to a blissful dream, but Shakespeare's clever intrigue shows what a confusing nightmare love can be. As the audience ponders the revelry they have just seen as the play comes to a close, Puck steps forth to conclude the confusion:
If we shadows have offended
Think but this, and all is mended
That you have but slumb'red here
While these visions did appear
And this weak and idle theme
No more yielding than a dream.
The audience is left in as much ambiguity as felt throughout the performance, appropriately ending the play in a puzzling state of confusion.
The theme of night activities-dreams and sleep-runs throughout the play. The majority of the plot takes place at night, even the rehearsal for the farcical play. All the