A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a dynamic play in the sense of reality and appearances. From the mischievous magic used by Puck to the title of the play Shakespeare masterfully makes readers reconsider what truth is within the confines of the play. The first of the many magical illusions of the play occurs when Puck uses the magical love flower on Lysander’s eyes in Act 2 Scene 2. Puck does not realize Lysander is not the Athenian male that Oberon was referring to, but Puck has been so out of luck finding anyone that he surmises Lysander must be the Athenian he was told to enchant. This screw up by Puck makes Lysander fall in love with Helena, however the love he feels is not true love but the trick of a magic flower. The second example of disguised reality is in Act 3 Scene 1 when Puck transforms Bottom’s head into that of a donkey. Bottom scares away his fellow guildsmen, but seems to be unaware that he has been transformed, which adds to the theme of confusion in this play. The transformation of Bottom leads to one of the most hilarious forms of confusion in any of Shakespeare’s plays later in the scene. Since Oberon placed the magic love flower juice on Titania’s eyes she falls in love with Bottom and his donkey head when she is awoken. Oberon finds that fact hilarious when Puck relays Titania’s situation to him. Despite having mischievous fun, Oberon actually sets out to make things right by putting the love juice on Demetrius’s eyes when Helena is nearby so when he wakes up he will fall in love with her. Eventually in Act 3 Scene 3, Puck rights all the wrongs, but Demetrius discovers his love for Helena. Despite the antics of Puck, Demetrius realizes his true love for Helena, which had been denied up to this point. It could be deduced that Demetrius was blindly in love with Hermia and it took being enchanted for him to realize who he truly loved. The final example of a false reality in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is in the final act when the guildsmen perform a play. This hilarious display sums up the theme of illusion and creative deception as we see a play within a play. Shakespeare adds to this by acknowledging the entire play as just a dream in the epilogue by Puck. This move solidifies the confusion of the entire play since there was a play within a play and the whole thing wound being a dream. The title of the play encompasses this theme and proves to be a masterful work.


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