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Shakespeare a play about a play about the confusion that occurs when the fairy world interferes with the human world discuss the confusion

A-Level: English

Title:  Shakespeare a play about a play about the confusion that occurs when the fairy world interferes with the human world discuss the confusion
Description  Shakespeare a play about a play about the confusion that occurs when the fairy world interferes with the human world discuss the confusion
Word Count:  1400


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Puck leaves Bottoms, the only mortal in the play to have the privilege of viewing the fairies, in Titania's chambers. Upon awaking, Titania falls instantly in love with the grotesque Bottoms and entices him to bed. Oberon, taking pity on the witless Titania, lies to Puck and says that Titania honored him with the Indian boy. The two fairies reverse the spell, transforming Bottoms back to his mortal form and erasing the love spell from Titania, who remembers her love for Oberon.

All seems well until Oberon returns to Earth and discovers that Puck's idiocy led him to place the love spell on Lysander who awoke to see Helena. In a feeble attempt to correct his awful mistake, Puck places the juice in Demetrius's eyes who also views Helena when he awakes. The two lovers, suddenly bewitched by Helena, try to woo her but she scorns their love, thinking they are playing a horrid joke on her. Hermia arrives on the scene and both of her former admirers disavow her. The quartet of mortal lovers quarrel and Oberon puts them all to sleep in order to correct the mess his dim-witted servant started.

Theseus and Egeus arrive in the woods the next morning to see the four lovers returned to normal with a slight twist-while Oberon revived Lysander's love for Hermia, he allowed Demetrius to remain in love with Helena. Enraged, Egeus demands Theseus enforce his decree but Theseus, under his own love spell with his new Amazon bride, softens and commands the two couples should be married and share in his wedding feast. Blissfully, the three couples enjoy the amusing production performed by Quince and his moronic group. The lovers leave to enjoy their wedding night and Puck leaves the audience with the vision that the entire experience has been a mystical dream.

Shakespeare's unique talent for creating poetry is effective in both establishing character and demonstrating the theme. The characters of the play all speak in poetic form with the exception of the English rustics who speak in prose. This helps to place the fairies and lovers on a higher, more transcendental plane than the artisans. Therefore, the artisans become more comical and lighten up the confusing comedy of love. The poetry of Shakespeare's genius also clarifies the play's theme of the extreme confusion and blinding powers of love. The rhythmic words help to create a magical setting of love while the rhymes portray the confusion each character feels while under the stupefying powers of love.

Some optimists have compared love to a blissful dream, but Shakespeare's clever intrigue shows what a confusing nightmare love can be. As the audience ponders the revelry they have just seen as the play comes to a close, Puck steps forth to conclude the confusion:

If we shadows have offended
Think but this, and all is mended
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear
And this weak and idle theme
No more yielding than a dream.

The audience is left in as much ambiguity as felt throughout the performance, appropriately ending the play in a puzzling state of confusion.

The theme of night activities-dreams and sleep-runs throughout the play. The majority of the plot takes place at night, even the rehearsal for the farcical play. All the mishaps occur during the midnight hours and the confusion is not cleared up until the next morning when the four lovers are discovered. This setting of night allows for the audience to drift into the idea that the entire show very well could have been a fantastical dream.
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