Shakespeare’s portrayal of A Midsummer Night’s dream has been executed inexplicably well, maintaining his flawless reputation of being the greatest playwright to successfully publish his work sprawled across generations. Shakespeare’s use of the elements of drama has been cleverly implemented into the script to engage the responder and evoke the universal emotion that is love. Shakespeare is consistent and conscious of his use of the elements, knowing that without them, he wouldn’t up stand his bold work of art.
Shakespeare first introduces his characters, used as a scaffold to build his mansion storyline that is A Midsummer Night’s dream. Shakespeare uses contrast within the characters to juxtapose the good and evil of the characters and create a sense of overall balance. This is a common technique Shakespeare uses as almost all characters, notions, attitudes and ideas have a common opposite. For example, Puck is the prankster and Bottom is the target, Demetrious hates Helena but Lysander loves Hermia, Titania holds an eternal beauty and Bottom is ludicrous and ugly.
This technique is also used to differentiate groups, as the Fairies are divine and pretty, whilst the Mechanicals are foolish and rugged. Through the use of juxtaposition, Shakespeare induces the harmony and level scales of the play’s plot. Tension is also theatrically used to hone the passion and excitement of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tension is always resolved, but is placed to build the climax and suspense of the play. This is apparent and blatantly used as conflict is evoked between the Athenians, when Puck mistakenly casts a spell for both Lysander and Demetrious to delve insatiably into love with Helena.
Hermia does not take kindly to this newly appointed role as the ‘the girl next door’ and retorts for her lover expressing “what can you do me greater harm than hate? Hate me? Wherefore? O me! What news, my love? Am not I Hermia? Are you not Lysander? ” Majority of conflict clear in A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows the theme of love, but Shakespeare does not expose love in the traditional manner. Shakespeare alternatively approaches the subject of heartache with a wink of eye and chooses to poke fun at the sore matter. This is affirmed as the Fairies prance around the forest fooling with the emotions and true love of the Athenians.
Language and movement is also effectively used to distinguish the 3 groups within A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Throughout all 3 plotlines, the language and movement differs immensely between the Athenians, the Fairies and the Mechanicals. When it comes to language, the fairies speak in riddles referring to the spells their casting. This displays the carefree and merry attitude the Fairies have to love whilst the Athenians speak properly and formally with a dramatic tone to show the seriousness and importance of their dilemmas. The Mechanicals speak with a common and colloquial language to express their low social status.
When lead Mechanical, Bottom, is spun into his dream with the Fairies, the vocabulary and general manner of which they carry, he comes to the conclusion that he is, in fact, dreaming. “I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream past the wit of man to say what dream it was. ” In conclusion, Shakespeare vastly expands the potential of A Midsummer Night’s Dream through his use of juxtaposition, tension, language and movement. Without these elements, Shakespeare’s storyline would lie on pillars of sand and would not hold the audience like it does.
January 9, 2018
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