Themes in Midsummer Night's Dream (Transformations (The transformation…
Themes in Midsummer Night's Dream
The most prominent theme in this play was love.
Theseus & Hippolyta
Hermia & Lysander
Helena & Demetrius
Helena and Demetrius are on of the most prominent relationships that take place in this play. Helena's love for Demetrius is so great to the point where she is okay with him misusing her as long as she could be with him. For example, she states that she will be his loyal spaniel and will do whatever he pleases. Conversely, Demetrius's treatment of Helena is done is very harsh mannered fashion. For example, he says, "For I am sick when I do look on thee".
Hermia & Demetrius
SYMBOL: The Love Potion.
The love potion has the power to make one individual fall in love with another individual no matter who they loved before or what status they hold in society. This was undoubtedly the most powerful symbol Shakspeare used in this play.
Titania fell in love with a low class weaver named Bottom and was terribly humiliated.
Lysander's love was shifted from Hermia to Helena.
Demetrius's love was shifted from Hermia to Helena.
SYMBOL: The Forest.
The forest is symbolizes a place where social norms don't take place and where unbelievable events mysteriously change lives by altering relationships.
IMPORTANT LESSON: Love an individual for their personality not their appearance.
Nick Bottom puts the juice of a magic flower on the eyes of different characters in order to make them fall in love.
Arts: Mechanical's Play
The love in the play within the play was mocked when the commoners decided to put on 'Pyramus and Thisbe
SYMBOL: The Commoner's Play.
The play-within-a-play satires the lives of the Athenian lovers and provides comedic relief through it's romantic confusion and relation between Pyramus and Thisbe and Hermia and Lysander.
Hermia rebels against her father and marries Lysander
Oberon and Titania are in a war over a changeling and their emotions are so strong that they disrupt the seasons in the human world.
Mainly used in the play to get individuals that don't normally fall in love to fall in love. In this play specifically, magic is used to play with love in order to provide comedic relief to the audience.
Titania & Nick Bottom: Magic was used by Oberon to make these two individuals fall in love. The relationship between these two characters provided comedic relief to the audience because of their stance in society. Titania is the princess of the fairies while Bottom is a weaver. The substantial difference in the classes of society between these characters is a keystone in the humor section of Midsummer Night's Dream.
Comparison between Theseus and Hippolyta and Oberon and Titania.
Theseus and Hippolyta are two characters in the play who showcase the significance of marriage by maintaining a stable and mature relationship.
Oberon and Titania, on the other hand, lead an unstable and rocky relationships due to their feuds over a changeling boy. Their arguments and fighting's led to the weather being affected which impacted many individuals in their world. As these two characters did not compromise on the matter of the Indian boy, this led to a rocky relationship where both parties remain unfaithful to one another.
There are many instances in this play where Shakespeare decided to incorporate the overarching theme of jealousy which plays a prominent part is creating the plot/ story line of this play.
Hermia's Jealousy towards Helena.
Helena's Jealousy towards Hermia.
Demetrius's Jealousy towards Lysander.
Oberon's Jealousy towards Titania.
Helena was deeply in love with Demetrius to the point where she is okay with whatever type of treatment she gets from him. This falls under the category of foolishness because it is foolish to repetitively offer yourself to someone when then continuously refuse.
As three weddings take place at the end of the play instead of just Theseus and Hippolyta, it gives less meaning and importance to each of the weddings. I believe that each of the weddings should have taken place individually.
The different relationships that took place throughout the play (The Love Triangles)
The transformation of Bottom's head to a donkey.
This transformation is, in my opinion, the most ironic transformations of all of the ones that took place in the play. This is because not only is Bottom transformed to have a donkey’s head, but is also transformed to the lover of the queen of fairies. This is ironic because he is in the lower class and it is beyond the expectations of what an audience would expect.
The changes in setting throughout the five acts.
This play mostly takes place in the forest outside of the city’s wall and in the city of Athens. The way that these two settings are showcased in this play allows audiences to see them as two different ‘worlds’. The city of Athens is shown as a place that strongly affirms law and order while the forest is a place of chaos where shocking events take place.
The term 'dream' in general is used repetitively throughout the play to explain experiences that are unbelievable or hard to believe.
Example: At the end of the play, Puck says that if anyone was offended by any language of events that took place in the play, they can think of it as all just a dream.
Example: After the night of magic in the play, Bottom and the lovers referred to everything that happened in the forest as a 'dream' in order to escape from telling the real events that took place in the forest.
“I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about t’expound this dream,” (Act 4).