Shakespearian Essay

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One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream is often considered a lighthearted comedy. It traces the romantic escapades of four young Athenian lovers lost on a midsummer night in a forest ruled by fairies. The dreamlike events that occur in the enchanted wood are framed by court scenes dominated by Theseus, ruler of Athens. Another group of characters, designated as rustics, artisans, or mechanicals, and led by Bottom the weaver, inhabit the play and enhance its comedic effects. Despite the play's obvious comic design, a number of critics have also identified within A Midsummer Night's Dream darker undertones. A Midsummer Night's Dream follows the comic adventures of four lovers in a wood populated by fairies who are busy trying to sort out their own romantic differences. At times, the play's language and subject matter approach tragedy, but its ending, which features happy weddings for all the principal characters, solidifies the play's designation as comedy. These genre issues, as well as the play's language and structure, form the basis of much of the critical discussion of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The sexual escapades of the lovers, as well as the fairies, are also of critical interest. The theme of love is used throughout the play and portrayed in the reality of Athens by day and the dreamlike imagery of the woods by night. Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that relies on opposing themes to generate the events in the play. The antitheses of order and disorder, reality and dream, amity and enmity, and harmony and dissonance represent the thematic oppositions of the play. There are also character antitheses that stem of the themes, for example how the peaceful relationship of Hippolyta and Theseus represents order and the volatile relationship of Oberon and Titania represents disorder. Disorder is the main theme of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Disorder is evident in many aspects of the play. It is caused mostly by...
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