Untitled Essay, Research Paper
Magic and Mischief In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, reality blends with imagination. For example, the fact that there are fairies with magical powers is very far-fetched, yet makes for an entertaining story. This comedy is mainly focused on the troubles of three groups of people: the two dedicated lovers, the bumbling actors, and the gleeful fairies. When these three groups collide, magic and mischief are created. Egeus, a nobleman, wants his daughter, Hermia, to marry a man named Demetrius, but she and Lysander, her fianc?, are in love, and that is the basis of the plot. Because Hermia’s father is so attracted to the idea of her marrying another nobleman, he becomes angry with her and threatens to either have her killed or to force her to become a nun. Also, Demetrius is, in fact, in love with Hermia. However, the lovers’ love and dedication toward each other forces them to run from the real world and enter the enchanted world of fairies and magic. There, they plan to get married and live somewhat of a peaceful life. Before she leaves for her journey, Hermia tells one of her trusted friends, Helena, the secret plan. Helena is deeply in love with Demetrius, so she tells him, knowing that he will follow Hermia anywhere and she could follow along. At the same time of the eloping: “Nick Bottom, an actor, and his comical friends are rehearsing a foolish play they plan to present at the duke’s wedding” (Shakespeare). Nick Bottom is the comic relief in this play. He is an actor, who is intent on acting out a play by the moonlight of the night in the same forest that the two lovers are eloping. Bottom and his friends: Arrive in the woods for their rehearsal, and Peter Quince is ready to start immediately. But Bottom has been brooding over the script and has decided that it needs some changes. It is possible that the ladies in the audience may become upset by the bloody death of Pyramus, and therefore the play needs a prologue to assure everyone that Pyramus is not really dead at all (Shakespeare). As the men rehearse, Puck, an assistant to the king and queen of the fairyland, puts a donkey’s head on the unsuspecting Bottom. Bottom, then, walks out on cue and frightens the other actors. In the midst of the acting, the lovers and their curious followers fall asleep in the woods nearby (Shakespeare). Among the people present in the forest, there are fairies, who: “…Were so delicate in their form that a dewdrop, when they chance to dance on it, trembles, indeed, but never breaks” (”Fairy and Fairy Tale”). These fairies only come out at night. Oberon, king of the fairies, and his wife, Titania have been arguing over their son, who Oberon wants to make his servant. Titania disagrees, which leads the argument on through the night. Oberon’s other servant, Puck, is called to go on a mission to find a flower called love-in- idleness for Oberon to put on his wife’s eyelids, which, in turn, casts a spell that makes her love the first person she sees when she awakens (Shakespeare). Puck then claims: “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows…” (Shakespeare). He, then, flies around the world to search for this flower, and when he returns, is inclined to sprinkle the flower’s juice on an Athenian, preferably Titania. Seeing that it is night and dark, Puck mistakenly goes to the sleeping lovers and sprinkles the juice onto Lysander’s eyelids (Shakespeare). When morning comes, Lysander awakens, and the first thing he sees is Helena, therefore, he falls in love with her. Seeing this whole mess, Oberon instructs Puck to go and find some more juice to put on his wife’s eyelids. When Puck returns, Oberon insists upon doing it himself. He sprinkles the juice on Demetrius, who, when he awakens, sees Helena and falls in love with her. The irony is: “Demetrius and Lysander attempt to woo Helena, who is naturally convinced that they are making fun of her, while Hermia is appalled to find that both suitors have forsaken her and is sure the whole thing is Helena’s fault” (Chute 55). Yet, the whole mess is not over with yet. Puck still has to undo his mistake. By now, the lovers have fallen asleep again, and Puck goes to them to change the spell. As they sleep, Puck changes the spell so that whenever they awaken, everybody will be in love with the proper person. Everything is now put back in it’s original order (Chute 56). Morning has since arrived, and the lovers are still sleeping. Bottom and the actors have already awakened and seen them. Then, a hunter is heard in the distance. The hunter is Duke Theseus, who is about to get married. He comes upon the sleepers and awakens them by blowing on his horn. When they awaken, Lysander is now in love with Hermia, and Demetrius is now in love with Helena. Bottom, seeing this, decides that this would be a good plot for a play. He then writes an impromptu play and presents it at the Duke’s wedding. The other two couples get married as well (Chute 56). As soon as night falls again, the three bridal couples are asleep, and Puck and the rest of the fairies place a blessing on them, and so this tale of magic and mischief comes to an end, and: “All the rest is misunderstanding and moonshine and magic…” (Dent 111). In Shakespeare’s drama, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, reality most definitely blends with imagination, sparking magical and charming powers within the mind with the help of the two dedicated lovers, the bumbling actors, and the gleeful fairies.