The Grim Side of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’


Looking at life in the perspective of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, it is clear that although witchcraft affects the natural brain functions like memory, coordination, learning, and the ability to problem solve; witchcraft has no difference in the user and the target as such, maybe the most thoughtful instance of metamorphosis, as well as what A Midsummer Night’s Dream is oft familiar with, is Bottom’s change by Puck and successive seduction by Titania.

A sexually strong and fantastic metamorphosis in which, Bottom is offered an ass’s head, even as Titania is reduced to the level of animal sexuality. Humans surpass their own world and time when they voyage, with the fairies, to their primeval humanity which has survived since before the emergence of civilization. In that humankind, into who Bottom is so offensively pushed, creatures are, by their character, savage as well as cruel. The besotted Titania in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ propels her followers off on guerilla attacks for bats’ wings to craft fur for her elves in addition to little consolation for her new love: This is the grim side of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

“The honey-bags steal from the bumble bees
And for night tapers crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worms’ eyes,
To have my love to bed and to arise…”

Therefore, the Early Contemporary Period’s stereotype of the witch is seen by many intellectuals as the final depiction of society’s misogynistic trepidation of female deviance and evil. Puck makes ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’’ one of the well known comic dramas in literature a brightly demented examinations of a mankind’s ability for imagination. When Shakespeare published this idealistic comedy, he was an author urgently in search of success.

Dowden wrote: “Shakespeare who viewed life more broadly and wisely then any other of the seers could laugh”.

It has been noted that everything is possible as long as one can imagine it and, in deed, imagination is the answer to the Dream. In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, imagination is perceived as a natural human power that is not possible to be cultured out of life. Once let out from the limits of the city, humans join the type of world where everything can occur and normally does. This is exhibited by Helena in the play when she displays a close connection between love and imagination in I:

“Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity…”

Though A Midsummer Night’s Dream divides its action between several groups of characters,Puck is the closest thing the play has to a protagonist. His mischievous spirit pervades theatmosphere, and his actions are responsible for many of the complications that develop the main plots in a chaotic way. More important, Puck’s capricious spirit, magical fancy, fun-lovinghumor, and lovely, evocative language permeate the atmosphere of the play.)

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The dark side of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Two themes emerge in majority of Shakespeare’s plays, the fight of men to rule women and the clash between father and daughter form a huge portion of the dramatic ingredient of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. In the first act both types of tension are evident, when Theseus comments that he has won Hippolyta by winning her, “Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword” (1.1.16), and through the clash between Egeus and Hermia. In addition to this fight of the sexes is Lysander together with Demetrius, both courting Hermia away from her father.

It is therefore crucial to recognize that ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is actually a play concerning finding oneself so as to be free of these commanding and sexual clashes. The forest therefore rapidly comes out as the site where all of these fights ought to be resolved. Hermia will try to look for her freedom from Egeus in the woods, and addition to it fighting a war against arranged marriages ias well as passionate love.

The clowns, in the shape of the artisans, as an addition bring in a suggestion of comedy which primarily masks the very actual happenings unfolding on the stage. Yet afterwards they will offer a frightening (although funny) idea of what could have occurred in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, in the form of their Pyramus as well as Thisbe play (Shakespeare, Michael & Susser n.p).

Shakespeare’s   ‘A Mid Summer Night’s Dream’ presents the magnificent as well as weird book as well. It is exhilarating journeying of mankind’s lack of imagination. In some instances of Shakesperer literary geniuses pack more fictional amusement into what seem to be their off-speed games than they actually perform in their slam–dunk masterpieces, especially the 16th century English fictional emperor, William Shakespeare. He got his status for his thoughts of scented while Ben Jonson wrote humorous comedy. But there is nothing like Shakespeare when he assumes the role of hooky. Many peoples’ personal darlings among the Shakespearean treasure trove seem to be those that sparkle with a fantastical, semi tawdry shine – there are only several such little known books that many many people can devour with delicious delight.

For many years people have thought ‘A Mid Summer Night’s Dream’ was among the few dramas which keeps everyone engaged in the see-saw of vengeance, amusement, and love until the closing pages.  ‘’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is among William Shakespeare’s small number of comedies which amuses all his readers. A fairy known as Puck is given the task of drawing the queens lover from her using a magic potion leading any and all lost in that forest that night into a strange sequence of events, turning lovers and altering individual’s hearts. This is one of Shakespeare’s excellent and hart warming works, certain to have a life out of the atmosphere of hatred.

Puck is the most defiantly convincing of all characters, almost pivotal and when I realized that I have to write on this drama, I approached it with an eagerness shaded by flickers of wariness, since I have to concentrate on Puck. Puck or Robin Good fellow is amongst the most accepted characters in English as well as Celtic folklore, being a devil. In deed, “Pouk” was a characteristic medieval expression for the devil. Sometimes Puck was depicted as a terrifying creature with the head of an ass, or as a funny small figure, long and ugly, or as a rough, shaggy creature, or as the depiction of the Greek god Pan. As a shape-changer, Puck had several appearances, and he applied them to produce mischief. The expression “Robin Excellent fellow” was a medieval name for the evil spirit as well. Robin Good fellow is among the faeries referred to as “hobgoblins”, also well-known for shape-shifting as well as confusing travelers, but irregularly a helpful domestic fairy. The Shakespearean Puck is well portrayed as the conventional character of this creature. Puck is a representative of the Trickster form, which comes into view in most of the folklore(Shakespeare n.p).

Midsummer Night’s Dream is a on love, love that is bound up in magic and ritual, a highly erotic fertility rite that is full of misfortune and risk but still has a happy ending. Explained as a celebration about what constitutes a couple, it looks deeper into fear and the connection between love and imagination. The characters we meet in the drama are gotten from ancient literary sources and courtly romance. Shakespeare, has used an eclectic mixture of half-classical-half-medieval myth, folklore, tradition, blended regality, festival, magic and popular tradition, to express the metamorphosis in the human condition, that of love to marriage.

Although portrayed as a dream, there is a dark undercurrent to the play that suggests this is possibly a nightmare. There are implications of rape, hints of violence and death threats. Indeed, it has been described as “a most truthful and brutal violent play.” The emphasis is on the liberation of the human condition and how it is potentially destructive. The darker side of human nature is portrayed through sex, love and comedy. The play shows what can happen when the perceived structure of the outer world breaks down and how separateness and stability of identity are lost. The link between love, imagination, and reason, are key to the main theme of transformation and change.

Being a comedy, ‘’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’’ focuses on love, love that is cleared up in magic as well as ritual, an extremely erotic richness rite that is filled with misfortune and danger but at the same time has a happy ending. Expressed as a celebration regarding what makes up a couple, it investigates fear and the connection between love and imagination. The characters we encounter in the play are gotten from primeval literary sources and courtly fiction. Shakespeare, has applied a diverse combination of half-classical-half-medieval myth, tradition, folklore, merged regality, festival, magic as well as popular tradition, to portray the transformation in the human nature, that of love to marriage.

Whereas it is portrayed as a dream, there is a grim side to the play that hints this is most likely a nightmare. In fact, it has been defined as “a most truthful and brutal sadistic play.” The focus is on the freedom of the human situation and how it is potentially unhelpful. The grim side of human nature is depicted through sex, love as well as comedy. The play indicates what can occur when the perceived system of the external world breaks down in addition to how separateness together with stability of individuality is lost(Walters 157).

The connections between love, imagination, as well as reason, are important to the main theme of change and transformation. In the ‘dream’, resistance offers the means by which metamorphosis takes place, an influential complementary effect that highlights movement as well as emphasizes the plays few moments of stillness. The changes are all varied in effect, in most cases good-looking and sometimes fantastic. The most important instance of metamorphosis in human life is marriage, the changes from men and women in love to the confirmation of love through obligation and responsibility.

Theseus’ warning to Hermia, the possibility of death, or a life in a convent, if she fails to marry Demetrius (1:1) is the means that initiates the motion for the process of metamorphosis both in the actual world and in the fairy world. It emphasizes an antagonism between the natural processes of growth, which is only accomplished through metamorphosis, including the nun’s profession, which is a self-inflicted rejection of the process.

It is as a result of this threat that Hermia runs away with Lysander to the wood outside of Athens, oblivious, that they are going into a territory of unlimited opportunity. The wood to where Lysander and Hermia, and the other lovers flee is the realm of fairyland, a symbol for the subliminal, which is a dark, risky and potentially frightening area. The chilly structured world of Athens is reflected in fairyland by poor governance and disorder; it is a land of resistance, the mindful and unaware, the light and the dark, an area of fanatical pleasure, a territory where metamorphoses occurs, images integrating and melting into one another(Flachmann 172).

Shakespeare has applied an assortment of literary including stage strategies to supplement the imagery of the play, together with a distinctive language that articulates metamorphosis; ‘translate’, ‘transpose’, as well as ‘transfigure’ are appropriate forms of metamorphosis however the expression varies. The first two, propose that they are detached from value, Hippolyta in her aria (5.1.) applies ‘transfigured’ in a probably Jungian way, to indicate an event lacking knowable importance, but not valuing itself.

‘all their minds transfigured so together’ (5:1.24)

The only individual in the play that possesses a free variety of language is Hippolyta, the lovers are restrained to rhyming verses, and the reflexes show themselves in prose, including the fairies in romantic short lined poetry. These speech strategies are connected to the four key elements of the play that highlights the expression of transformation between individuals in the play and the audience. With Shakespeare not so much is ever straightforward and he does not just have Oberon talk in stylish blank free verse to Titania but also in rhyming rhymes comparable to those of the lovers.

“ Ill met by moonlight proud Titania” (2:1. 60)

“Now until the break of day,

Through this house each Fairy stray”. (5:1. 399)

There exists a very powerful lunar imagery that is evident all along the play, from Theseus’s initial speech “Another moon: but oh, methinks, how slow” (1:1.3) To Puck’s goodbye “Now the hungry lion roars, and the wolf beholds the Moon” (5:1.369). The Moon; linked to night, hunting, madness, revelry including femininity, assists in grounding the fairies in the audiences’ imaginations together with emphasizing the ritualistic form of the play, passing human attitudes locally with the lunar cycle. As the moon moves over its cycle, so do the emotional conditions of the characters metamorphosing in terms of love, hate, fear, joy, sympathy and including forgiveness. It also functions as a stage mechanism to support transposition and transformation, by developing a dreamlike scene(Chamberlain 30).

“All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.”

The above citation can be viewed as an echo of Puck’s concluding lecture to the audience in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. He delicately proposes that maybe we have all just been dreaming. He terms himself and his associate actors as “shadows.” In the drama there is a metrical roll from life to fantasy, from ordinary to abnormal, from life to art. For instance act I, scene I concerns love, which is ordinary and scene II is about acting, which is abnormal.

During the course of the drama the pendulum will be changed and put in motion over again, at a somewhat different tilt. Defenselessness and inconsistency, usually the spirit of comedy, generate, in the Dream, comic but disturbing confusion. Everything comes out all right in the conclusion but things may have taken a menacing turn: a young girl may have been relegated to a convent; a sad accident, as a result of a message going off target, might have happened to a young couple.

Whe we look at the overall theme of the play it is clear that in the play, there is a subconscious proposition that, regardless of an incredible possibility for chaos, our world is, after all, prearranged. Nonetheless, the arbitrary element in the action is the variable moon. Her role is greatly vague; she flickers in and out of the play. When the lovers go to the woods, the moon disappears, so uncertainty mounts because they have to try to locate their way by starlight.

The misty darkness controlled by Oberon compels them to sleep over the night in the wood and simply the approaching of dawn lets out the hapless foursome from their status of confusion. The journey from the reasoned oppression of the city has forced the lovers into the wood, in which the contrary variety of forces assume control. Unreason takes control; magic as well as fantasy are set free. By the conclusion of the play, the clash between Reason and Dream ought to in some way be reconciled and surpassed (Bach 131).


“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is an account of change under the vague influence of Love, Dream including Fancy. As per Theseus, the lovers in the drama are irrational since they are at the pity of imagination. Roughly every significant character makes indication to dreams or dreaming:

“My Oberon! What visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamour’d of an ass”

cries out Titania, who trusts that her exposure with the donkey-headed Bottom was just a dream. In deed, there is just one true dream in the drama, when, with Freud-like expectation, Hermia dreams that a huge snake “ate my heart away”. The dream in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is of a grim kind with barely a glimmer of light wherever. In this so-referred as comedy, Shakespeare portrays exposures that are on the edge of reason and on the border of unconsciousness.

Works Cited

Conlan, J. P. “The Fey Beauty Of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Shakespearean Comedy In Its Courtly Context.” Shakespeare Studies 32.(2004): 118-172. A

cademic Search Premier. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. Shakespeare, William, Michael Hoffman, and Deborah Sussman Susser. “A Midsummer.

Night’s Dream.” Literary Cavalcade 51.7 (1999): 26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Champaign, Ill: Project Gutenberg, n.d. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

Walters, Lisa. “Oberon And Masculinity In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Anq 26.3 (2013): 157-160. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

Flachmann, Michael. “ACTING SHAKESPEARE: A Roundtable Discussion With Artists From The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2011 Production Of A Midsummers Night’s Dream.” Journal Of The Wooden O Symposium 11.(2011): 172-183. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

Chamberlain, Stephanie. “The Law Of The Father: Patriarchal Economy In A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Journal Of The Wooden O Symposium 11.(2011): 28-40. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

Bach, Rebecca Ann. “The Animal Continuum In A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Textual Practice 24.1 (2010): 123-147. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

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