A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Symbols and Symbolism
In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream comedy uses two separate worlds and these two settings symbolize different things. The setting at the beginning of the play is the court and the city of Athens. The Duke of Athens, Theseus and Hippolyta are planning their wedding.
Egeus asks a help from Theseus because he wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, but she refused Egeus’s orders. The duke told Hermia to obey her father or she will face the consequences of death. The second setting at the middle of the play in Act III is the wood. Hermia does not want to marry Demetrius and runs away to the forest with Lysander. In the forest, Oberon and Titania are the king and the queens of the fairies. The woods are near Athens, where they are home of the fairies. The city represents human reality and the city is a place with law and order. The forest represents a fairy realm of dream and the laws and order are not applied in the woods. The setting of the play shifts from realism to fantasy. The nature and the forest play an important role in the play. At night in the woods is the best setting for this play because the laws cannot touch the young lovers, protection and privacy for Peter Quince, and It allows the mischievous fairies sprinkle magic love potion.
Hermia and Lysander love each othe,r but Demetrius loves Hermia. Egeus has arranged for Hermia and Demetrius get married, but Hermia is angry because she does not want to marry Demetrius. Lysander and Hermia are not allowed to marry due to the laws and order. Hermia must marry the man Egeus has chosen and if she doesn’t follow the rule she will be punished by death. Lysander plans to escape out of Athens and runs into the woods to be free of Athenian laws. In the wood Lysander and Hermia can freely marry each other because laws and orders are not applied to the wood.
Peter Quince wants to perform a play Pyramus and Thisbe to celebrate the king Theseus and his wife Hipployta wedding. Quince assembles the craftsmen to play as actors. Quince and the band of Anthenian craftsmen meet to rehearse in the woods outside of the Athens. The wood is a protection for peter Quince and his craftsmen of actors because it shielded from the court. They want to rehearse in the woods for privacy, they won’t be bothered by the crowds people. Prince thinks the wood is the perfect spot to rehearse because no one will know the plot of the play.
The wood is a dark, mysterious setting where fairies and magic can be performed. Oberon angry with Titania, because he wants the Indian boy for his henchman and comes up with a plan for revenge. Oberon sent puck to fetch the magical flower that was struck by cupid’s arrow. He anoints the eyes of Titania with the magical juice while she is asleep so that Titania will fall in love with the first thing she sees. She falls in love with bottom, whose head was transformed into a donkey. Oberon tell pucks to find a young athenian man and make him love the woman who is chasing him after he overhears the conversation between Demetrius and Helena. Puck smears the magical juice the Lysander’s eyes. He turned the young lovers worlds upside down and Oberon seeks a way to undo the spell. When the young lovers are awakened the fairies have turned their real experiences into faint memories. The night in the woods is easier to lose direction and to become confused.
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