How Does the Play a Midsummer Night’s Dream Reflect Aspects of Shakespeare’s Context?

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows the basic structure and pattern of a Shakespearean comedy. A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows this pattern because Elizabethans expected it. The template of a Shakespearean comedy contained love as its central theme, clever use of language and magic.

The prime theme of a Shakespearean comedy is love. There are many types of love including forced love, induced love and true love. True lovers in Shakespearean comedies often have to face things that block them from their reunion. An example of this is in A Midsummer Night’s Dream where Lysander and Hermia are troubled by Hermia’s father who wants her to marry Demetrius because he is wealthier. Unfortunately, Hermia doesn’t want to marry Demetrius and wishes to marry Lysander instead. Due to her stubbornness King Theseus pronounced that Hermia must marry Demetrius, die or become a nun; quote “Either to die the death or to abjure For ever the society of men. “ Love in a Shakespearean comedy usually ended with marriage. This is in A Midsummer Night’s Dream where Helena marries Demetrius (due to love potion), Hermia marries Lysander and Theseus marries Hippolyta; quote “Away with us to Athens; three and three “This use of lovers getting separated and later reuniting shows us what Elizabethans would have expected in a Shakespearean Comedy.

Another important aspect of Shakespearean comedies is Shakespeare’s use language. Shakespeare was a king of banter and he could create clever puns and wordplay battles in his works. An example of a clever insult in A Midsummer Night’s Dream when Lysander, under the influence of the love potion, calls Hermia a cat because she is clinging onto him and not letting go, he also says that he will shake Hermia off like a serpent, which is clever because snakes wiggle. Quote” Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing let loose/or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.” Shakespeare also makes his characters funnier by making them misuse words. This is...
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