Among those many things is the idea that love is actually a foolish emotion.
Most critics believe the play was written for and performed at an aristocratic wedding, with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance.
Scholars estimate the play was written in or when Shakespeare was 31 or 32 years oldat approximately the same time as Romeo and Juliet and Richard II.
Obvious plot links exist between A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet, and critics disagree about which play was written first. Not only do both dramas emphasize the conflict between love and social convention, but the plot of "Pyramus and Thisbe," the play-within-the-play of A Midsummer Night's Dream, parallels that of Romeo and Juliet.
Critics have wondered if Romeo and Juliet is a serious reinterpretation of the other play, or just the opposite: Perhaps Shakespeare is mocking his tragic love story through the burlesque of "Pyramus and Thisbe.
The story of "Pyramus and Thisbe" was originally presented in Ovid's The Metamorphosis, making it one of many classical and folkloric allusions in the play. Other allusions include Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding, which is described in Chaucer's "Knight's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales, while the theme of a daughter who wants to marry the man of her choice despite her father's opposition was common in Roman comedy.
The fairies that dance and frolic throughout this play were most likely derived from English folk tradition. On the one hand, these creatures have a sinister side — Puck, for example, is also known as Robin Goodfellow, a common name for the devil — but they can also be viewed as fun-loving nature spirits, aligned with a benevolent Mother Nature.
The interaction of this eclectic array of characters — from the classically Greek royalty such as Theseus derived from Plutarch's tale of "Theseus" in his Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans to more traditionally Celtic fairies such as Puck — emphasizes Shakespeare's facility in using elements of the old to create something completely new.
Performance History The first Quarto edition of the play, printed inannounces that it was "sundry times publickely acted, by the Right honourable, the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants.
Its spectacle and its emphasis on dance and magic and song have led it to be interpreted and performed in a variety of ways.
For example, numerous composers have been inspired by Shakespeare's Dream.
InPurcell wrote an operatic version, The Fairy Queen, although it contains little of Shakespeare's original story line. The play has also seen many famous, and often infamous, interpretations. For example, the Beerbohm Tree production had live rabbits hopping around the stage, while Peter Brook's production was presented on a bare stage that looked like a big white box.
Most modern productions of the play, including the film, emphasize its erotic, savage undertones. Structure of the Play Showing his usual dexterity in creating coherent dramatic frameworks, Shakespeare here interweaves four separate plots and four groups of characters.
Theseus is a voice of law and reason in the play, as shown by Egeus' entrance into the drama: Egeus needs Theseus to adjudicate a dispute he is having with his daughter, Hermia. The second plot features Hermia and her three friends, Helena, Demetrius, and Lysander.
These young lovers stand on the boundaries of the law; like many adolescents, Lysander and Hermia rebel against authority, in this case, by refusing to accept Theseus' laws and, instead, planning to escape from Athenian tyranny. Although the lovers have one foot in the conventional world of Athens, the play forces them to confront their own irrational and erotic sides as they move temporarily into the forest outside of Athens.
By the end of the play, though, they return to the safety of Athens, perhaps still remembering some of the poetry and chaos of their night in the forest.
This irrational, magical world is the realm of the play's third group of characters: Ruled by Titania and Oberon, the enchanted inhabitants of the forest celebrate the erotic, the poetic, and the beautiful. While this world provides an enticing sojourn for the lovers, it is also dangerous.Still, the play is sympathetic toward a young person's right to choose a marriage partner based on love and not the whims and desires of parents.
(Shakespeare returns to this subject in several other plays like Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and The Taming of the Shrew. A summary of Themes in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, . William Shakespeare intensifies the emotion of love and foolishness in the epic tale of four lovers and an enchanted forest in his classic Midsummer NightвЂ™s Dream.
Early in this work, we learn of two young maidens, Hermia and Helena, and their unfulfilled passions/5(1). The Emotion of Love and Foolishness in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare PAGES 1.
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- A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare Author: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was written by William Shakespeare, who was born in Stratfort-upon-Avon, in After he had attended the Stratfort School, he married in November Anne Hathaway and five years later they got .
Explanation of the famous quotes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, including all important speeches, comments, quotations, and monologues.