|Teacher: Mr. Masselli|
Topic: AMSND essay
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by WS, the woods outside Athens is a world characterized by magic, mischief, and madness. Its fantastic inhabitants represent an imaginary world with values that make a mockery of the pompous and stifling laws of Athens , remove the obstacles to marriage and help define this play as a comedy. When H&L&D&H enter the wood, they exchange the nightmare that is Athens for the dream that is Oberon’s kingdom and unknowingly take advantage of the time and fate that Shakespeare’s comic plot allows.
When Oberon wants D to fall in love with H, he sends Puck to gather the juice of the flower, love in idleness. The nectar is so powerful that it transforms D after Puck rubs it on his sleeping eyes; before he despised H-now he can’t live without her. This magical transformation is part of the fabric of the country setting. The wood is a fantastic place, filled with fairies which have powers beyond mortal comprehension. Once human beings are exposed to such forces, however, their confused emotions seem ready to do more harm than good: hatred replaces love and name calling replaces friendship. Comic plot, however, rescues the four combatants as puck reapplies the potion to Lysander’s eyes so "Every Jack will have his Jill and all will be well."
The audience has seen magic defeat Egeus and expose the foolishness of Athenian law. The remaining comic treat is the performance of Pyramus and Thisby. When Bottom and the rest of his cast use a prologue to put the audience at ease, have a human being play a talking wall, and a lion apologize for his appearance, Shakespeare not only dramatizes the purpose of theater, but also illustrates that within the context of comedy, tragedy must also be transformed. The imagination, in the context of art (in this case the wider play) becomes the reality. Bottom illustrates this point, not only as a character in Pyramus and Thisby, but also as a participant in the fairy world of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Dialogue is the key to any play-comedy or tragedy. In AMSND, Shakespeare, writes the mutilated script of Pyramus and Thisby, as well as the unique insults the lovers hurl at each other. The lines from’Pyramus’, in combination with the language of forest, displace the harsh lines of Egeus and Theseus in Act 1. The atmosphere of merriment in the final act is capped by the words of Oberon’s blessing and Puck’s apology-words that make the audience aware that while the course of true love never did run smooth, the reward can be worth the pain.
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