Compare and contrast play within a play in Hamlet and Midsummer Night's Dream

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Nick Bottom Pages: 1 (451 words) Published: April 17, 2014
Contrast Shakespeare's use of the play-within-the-play in Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream ( DEC 08)

A play within a play is a literary device that is used for several purposes-contrast, mirroring and for purely comedic purposes.


Midsummer Night's Dream
In Hamlet it displayed self consciousness

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare shows the process of creating and staging a play through the rehearsals of the ‘ rude mechanicals’

It is used to catch the conscience of King Claudius into betraying his guilt

Used to contrast and mirror the main play.It serves as a reinforcement of the theme: love.

Hamlet exposes Cladius as a murderer, and has thus made himself vulnerable. The king now knows what Hamlet knows

The lower class players are as deeply confused about dramatic illusion as the upper-class lovers had been about their real feelings

Hamlet is a very bossy director, going on for lines and lines about how he wants the players to perform this play exactly as it is written to perform subtly and not overact, to speak clearly and loudly, and to be as natural as possible.

Peter Quince the director of the play “Pyramus and Thisbe”is not versed with the formula of Romantic Comedy. The script shows his ignorance of classical literature. He overlooks the Mechanical mispronouncing words and repeating lines

The play was staged to provide Hamlet the with the evidence he needs to proceed in his mission to avenge his father's murder.

The play was staged at the royal wedding of the Duke Theseus to create comedy

It was to find the truth and to take the necessary action to avenge his father's death 6
The mechanicals' production is a warning to both the pairs of lovers and to the audience about the potential danger brought by love's blindness.

1.They blur the lines between reality and illusion. In Hamlet the play "Murder of...
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