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Midsummer Night's Dream Free essay! Download now

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Midsummer Night's Dream

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 2157 | Submitted: 11-Dec-2011
Spelling accuracy: 97.8% | Number of pages: 7 | Filetype: Word .doc


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Midsummer Night\Midsummer Night\Midsummer Night\

Description

Write an essay on the following passage from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You should give consideration to such matters as:
(a) How the episode relates to the play as a comedy (be careful not just to tell the story);
(b) The distinctive features of the language; and
(c) The performance possibilities of the extract.

Preview



A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

Question:
Write an essay on the following passage from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You should give consideration to such matters as:
(a) How the episode relates to the play as a comedy (be careful not just to tell the story);
(b) The distinctive features of the language; and
(c) The performance possibilities of the extract.
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My interpretation of the question posed above is based on the performance possibilities of Act 1, Scene 1 from A Midsummer Night’s Dream1, following consideration of the way in which the extract relates to the rest of the play in terms of a comedy. Performance aspects are discussed alongside the language used, as it is the structure of the language that governs the performance.

While the language of the extract does not lend itself immediately to the idea that the play is a comedy, in what could be termed the traditional Shakespearean sense, there are a number of subtexts in which various characters are made fun of: the humour itself achieved through a sense of irony. For example in Line 47, Theseus, shocked by Egeus’ attitude is delicately mocking Hermia’s father as a god who has made Hermia in his image (1.1.46-51, Norton, 2nd edn, pp.850). Also in Line 52, Theseus casts aspersions on Demetrius by the way he says: worthy (1.1.52, Norton, 2nd edn, pp-850). Later in the play, the mainstream humour itself stems from the larger-than-life characters, Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius, as they try to find their way out the preposterous situations they have found themselves in.


As discussed, this extract does not relate to the Dream as a comedy in the purest sense, but does relate to the whole play through the beginnings of the plot development and the illustration of the play’s recurring themes. As it structurally occupies the exposition (the narrative information, the plot outline and theme) in the play, it represents the starting point in the development of the four plot lines.

The extract specifically progresses two of the play’s four principal plot lines, namely love and the relationship between men and women, as defined by male authority figures attempting to control the weaker vessel. For example, to all appearances, Theseus and Hippolyta seem to share a healthy loving relationship, but this relationship it is a love built upon a man asserting power over a woman; Theseus having won Hippolyta’s love by defeating her in battle:
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword,
And won thy love doing thee injuries
(1.1.16-17, Norton, 2nd edn, pp-849)

Of the play’s themes discussed within this extract, it is suggested that the most significant is that of love, because this is a comedy about love out of balance. This theme provides the outline within which the language and performance possibilities ...

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