Professor Jim Barloon
18 March 2013
A Green World
According to Northrop Frey, a green world is a place where characters go to escape the restrictive waking world of the city and where the imagination, magic, and dreams dwell. The green world in Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the woods, which has a very significant role in the play. This is evident when a fairy named Puck uses his magical powers to create the complex the love attractions between Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and Helena. Also, there is evidence that the woods is the green world in the play when Puck uses his powers to exact Oberon’s revenge on the Queen fairy Titania and to turn Bottom’s head to a donkey’s head.
Due to the manipulation of Puck’s magic spells, the complex love affair between Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena occurs in the woods. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puck sees Lysander and Hermia sleeping in the woods. He spreads the juice on Lysander and Helena takes a rest from pursuing Demetrius. Unforunately, Helena wakes up Lysander and he immediately falls in love with her. Helena says that Lysander’s true love is Hermia, but Lysander replies by saying that Hermia is nothing to him. Lysander says, “Content with Hermia! No; I do repent / The tedious minutes I have with her have spent. / Not Hermia but Helena I love” (II, ii, 111-113). Helena thinks that Lysander is making fun of her and she leaves. Lysander pursues her and Hermia wakes up, realizing that Lysander is gone. Later, Demetrius and Lysander fight for Helena’s love, but Puck quickly resolves the situation. When the love situation is resolved, Lysander now loves Hermia and Demetrius loves Helena. Puck’s manipulation of the love between Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius, and Helena indicates that the woods is the green world in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and that it plays a significant role in the play. Magical love plays in the attraction between Lysander and Helena....
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