How Does Shakespeare Present the Wood in 'a Midsummer Night's Dream' as a Place of Madness?

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Athenian democracy, Irrationality Pages: 2 (702 words) Published: February 24, 2013
How does Shakespeare present the wood as a place of madness? In Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' we see two important settings explored, the Athenian Court and The Wood, which introduce the somewhat paralleled yet differing worlds of the Athenian lovers and the fairies respectively. The Athenian Court, a place of order and emotional management is in complete contrast to the supernatural Wood, in which laws of physics are defied, "creatures are swifter than the moon's sphere" and creatures can easily fit inside flowers, for example.The behavior within the wood is by unwritten rule, erratic. The plight between the feuding Oberon and Titania is affecting the climate of the world, the seasons have completely changed because of their actions, for example. It is not only the forest born creatures who suffer the feat of irrational behavior, as Helena demonstrates. Helena cannot accept the fact that Dimitrius hates her and even presents her feelings as similar to the attraction of metal upon metal "But you draw not iron (ie magnetic), I am steel (pure and strong. True to him, as in pure.)". in the same sense she shows an almost involuntary reaction to his presence "Leave your power to draw", almost suggesting there is nothing she can physically do to stop the attraction. She is drawn towards him, though she knows he is "hard hearted" like a loadstone (known in this context as a magnetic stone, further backing up the point that he is like a magnet to her), except she claims to not be hard hearted, yet as "true as steel", showing her prospective devotion When Dimitrius tells her that he hates her,"I love thee not", Helena even claims that "Even for that, do I love thee more", like every time she is told she cannot have Dimitrius, the more she needs him. Her irrational behavior reaches the point of total dismissal of her Athenian heritage by the fact that she is willing to rid of her precious virginity (in Athenian Law, and beyond, it was thought as silly to marry...
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