Essay on Supernatural Powers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Out of all of his thirty-eight plays he wrote between the years 1589 and 1613, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is believed to be one of his only works to be so diverse in genre. This play is considered a comedy, with a fantastical twist, making it one of a kind, yet not generally accepted in the time of its publication (Midsummer 34). By integrating supernatural beings and the use of their powers into the piece, Shakespeare adds a feeling of whim and fantasy that none of his other works exude. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare includes the use of supernatural powers in every act and scene to change the way the audience perceives the play.

The fairy world in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the center of the supernatural powers in this piece. By including this world between the city of Athens and the outer forest, the personalities of the characters are drastically changed. By separating the two worlds, the expectations of the young couples melt away. In the fairy realm, the couples are not expected to be anything other than young. One example of this is the character Robin Goodfellow, also known as Puck. As he runs about creating havoc for the couples of Athens, there is an air of childlike innocence that suggests that the world of the fairies is about being true to yourself, and the world does not put pressure on the couples to be proper or act in a certain way.

Shakespeare also includes the use of a magic potion to kick start the actual plot line of the “star-crossed lovers” scenario that he is so famous for creating. The potion is first introduced by Oberon, the King of the fairy world, who gives an order to Puck to anoint the eyes of the young Athenian man, essentially ending the feud the two young Ath…

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By including supernatural powers, Shakespeare adds elements of comedy, while also creating a whimsical scenery. Throughout the play, Shakespeare includes powers that the audience can only equate to supernatural, but they can also relate. These powers, although absurd and definitely fictional, remind the audience of their childlike side, just like the one Robin Goodfellow seems to portray (Midsummer 35). A Midsummer Night’s Dream draws on the fantasies and daydreams of the audience to truly enhance the experience the viewers have during the play.

Works Cited

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Errant Eros and the Bottomless Dream”. William Shakespeare: The Comedies. 1992. Gale Virtual Reference Library. 12 Nov. 2013.

Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 2nd Revised Ed. New York: Signet Classics, 1998. Print.

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