Act 3 scene 2 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is a comedy written by Shakespeare in the
Elizabethan times, still performed in the present day. At Act 3 scene
2 we are probably at the height of confusion in the play. Each of the
four lovers loves someone who does not love them. Demetrius loves
Hermia, Hermia loves Lysander, Lysander loves Helena and Helena loves
Demetrius. All this chaos is down to Puck, a mischievous fairy whose
job is to stir up trouble to amuse the fairy King. Not only has he
been distorting the lives of humans, but also the fairy Queen. She is
momentarily in love with a mortal with an ass’ head (also as a
consequence of Puck’s actions).
The audience has the advantage at this point as they are all knowing,
making them feel as though they are a little superior. They know that
the fairies exist and all of Puck’s activities. The audience is
expecting that Oberon will sort out the mess after seeing the chaos
that Puck’s actions have caused.
At the beginning of the scene we see Puck describing how he
successfully ‘An ass’s nole fixed upon’ Bottom’s head and how he then
fabricated the love between him and Titania. Puck is very pleased with
himself at all the upheaval he has induced. The audience sees his
mischievous and naughty side once more. It also tells the audience
that Puck is dedicated to pleasing his King. It is obvious that Puck
thinks very little of ‘mortals’. He describes them as ‘The shallowest
thick-skin of that barren sort’ making them seem very stupid. And also
as ‘wild geese’ which are seen as senseless annoying animals.
In this part of the scene rhyming couplets are used…
… middle of paper …
…ving the matter and
leaving Puck and Oberon alone. Oberon is appalled once again by Puck’s
conduct. Puck claims he is sorry, ‘I mistook’ he says and declares
that he is ‘so far blameless’. This again flaunts his impish side
enforced even more by his second statement describing the lover’s
chaos as ‘jangling’ and a ‘sport’. This means it gave him great
pleasure to see humans in such a predicament.
At the end of the scene the audience is left feeling a mixture of
emotions. Relief that all this chaos will be sorted out but also
gladdened that each of the lovers will have someone who loves them
back. However, the audience does not yet know whether the spells will
work, whether all will be well. So there is still a sense of
anticipation at the end of this scene as Puck exits leaving the stage
empty for the next scene.