William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

This paper examines William Shakespeare’s use of fairies and magic in his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The purpose of this research is to examine William Shakespeare’s use of fairies and magic in his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A sketch of the pre-Shakespearean history of fairies will be followed by an exploration of their structural and dramatic role in the play.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is Shakespeare’s purest and most lyrical comedy. Potential issues of conflict, such as politics, marital discord and power seeking, so predominant in later plays, are here merely the temporary devices that serve to shuffle forward the gossamer lightness of the action. In fact, the play has only a passing touch with reality of any kind, dwelling instead almost its entire airy length in a kind of fitful dream
of love and illusion. It is this dialogue between love and illusion, bracketed by the rational reassurances of Theseus, ruler of Athen …

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