A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Woods

               This particular piece of writing may be one of Shakespeare’s best known works, and is really where one can indicate that Shakespeare really tries to dive off into to a comical writing style for this one. The play begins with Theseus getting prepared for his marriage to Hippolyta followed by a four-day festival event to celebrate the marriage. Egeus comes into Theseus’s courts to demand that Hermia be married to Demetrius, but Hermia is in love with Lysander. Hermia is not willing to comply with the arrangement and is aware of the consequences if there is no follow through on her end. Eventually, Hermia and Lysander sneak into the woods to marry, but Helena makes Demetrius aware of the arrangement and goes after them into the woods to reclaim his “lover”. In the woods, there are two distinct groups of characters: The fairies and the craftsmen. The fairies decide that it would be fun to mess with the characters listed above once they got into the woods. Puck, one of the main fairies begins to reek havoc making Lysander fall in love with Helena and making Titania fall in love with bottom, who has the head of an ass now. In the end, the fairy fixes his mistakes making Demtrius love Helena and Lysander now loves Hermia. This end’s the play within a play and at the end we are left with Puck begging the audience for forgiveness and for one to remember this all as nothing but a dream. Now, what I want to talk about is the woods. What is it with everything happening in the woods? One can obtain the information that the woods seems to always have some sort of significance in certain films, and playwrights that we still see in pieces of films and play in modern day arts. What exactly do these woods represent in this particular piece of writing? We could relate the woods to darkness because of how it is portrayed in certain big productions and old tales where the woods is where horrendous and murderous actions are taken to, but I believe in this context it is quite different. One may gather that the woods in this sense are used as a symbol of magic and mystery; I would completely agree with that conclusion for this particular play. For example, some Elizabethans believed that the woods represented this magic and mystical vibe; some even believed fairies really did live there. This directly relates to this writing seeing as the fairies have the time of their fairy lives playing these characters like pawns in a board game. Then again, the woods are also viewed as a forbidden place where dark and unexpected things could happen, like discussed above. So, in this play I believe the woods really are suppose to represent both the magical and dark side because the location that the characters lived, Athens, can be called a very predictable place; take the arrangement of marriages for example. The woods are used to remind us that life is not always predictable and that anything truly can occur. Though it one’s fate may not be transformed by little fairies, life is full of surprises and is not always predictable.


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