Criticism on Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 401
  • Published : May 19, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
In many pieces of literature the theme is often obscured in which the author attempts to reveal the hidden truths. Through his utilization of characters, Shakespeare incorporates the personalities of individual beings within the play in order to express the overall message. Shakespeare's extensive use of imagery further demonstrates his conveyance of the surreal nature within the play. In "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Shakespeare uses the mechanicals to differentiate the reality from the dream, while his use of imagination and fairies leads to the lovers' transformation which demonstrates how naive the Athenian youths are.

The mechanicals served as a barrier between the worlds of dream and the reality. According to Williams, the mechanics shows a level of reality. Pyramus and Thisbe is a major metamorphosis and they bring back the audience from the "dream state" to reality. The mechanicals both experience the world of dream and the human world through Pyramus and Thisbe. They perform a play that helps the confusion between the two worlds. Shakespeare uses bottom to greatly define this barrier. In the novel, Bottom says, "Pyramus is not killed indeed; and for some better assurance, tell them that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but bottom the weaver. This will put them out of fear" (Shakespeare 78). Bottom wants to let the audience know that everything is just a play. He wants to show the difference between Pyramus and Bottom the weaver. This statement proves that he draws the line between these two worlds and that he, Bottom, is in the real world, and Pyramus is in the play or the dream. Shakespeare’s use of the mechanicals helps to build the wall between the two fictitious worlds in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream". Shakespeare uses the fairies to intertwine the two worlds. According to Bloom, "Not only are they obviously the most striking feature of the comedy, intellectually they are the most productive, too. By intruding the fictive worlds of Ovid and English folklore into the doings of the nobles and the workmen of Athens, the pose open-ended questions about illusion and reality"(63). Puck has mistaken to put the love potion into the eyes of the Athenian youth. This represents more interference of the dream to reality by the fairies. The fairies intervene in the world of reality and mix it with the dream of Lysander and Demetrius. Shakespeare states that "What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite, and laid the love juice on some true love's sight. Of the misprision must perforce ensure some turn'd, and not a false turn'd true"(118). Oberon questions puck about what he has done to the innocent lovers. This proves that these fairies know which world they are in and that this barrier should not be crossed. Unfortunately, pucks mistake crosses this line and will further build the story of the dream. The fairies intervention in reality shows the extent of both worlds and builds the question of which world are they in.

In this novel, Bottom the weaver is very imaginative and serious that it is the reason how the mechanicals greatly define the wall between the two worlds. “Bottom the weaver follows a sedentary trade and he is accordingly represented as conceited, serious, and fantastical” (Bloom 31). The use of his character is to appear as the leader and to be the one that experiences the world of fairies. He also serves as a great implication of which world the story is in. According to Shakespeare, “A crew of patches, rude mechanicals, that work for bread upon Athenian stalls, were met together to rehearse a play” (94). This shows how he is serious about doing the play in the Athenian Palace. This also proves how he is the leader of the mechanicals. “Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that. And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. The more pity that some honest neighbors will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion” (Shakespeare 88). Bottom says this...
tracking img