Free Essays on A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Comedy

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Comedy in A Midsummer Night's Dream


"why do they run away? This is a knavery of them to make me afeard."(3.1.99) This is a quote from the Shakespearean play "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In this quote, the speaker, Bottom, is wondering why everyone is afraid of him. He doesn't realize that as a practical joke, a trickster Puck, has put an ass head on his shoulders. This makes all of his companions afraid of him so that they run away. This is an example of the comedy involved in this play. This essay will show you that A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that is mainly composed of comedy.

The funniest part of this play seems to be when Puck, the trickster, keeps mixing up the people who he is assigned to put the love juice on. Even when he did put the love juice into the right people's eyes, they still fell in love with the wrong people sometimes. The first example of this mistake of Puck's is where he puts the love juice in Lysander's eyes, mistaking him for Demetrius. Oberon tells Puck to put the love juice in the eyes of an Athenian man, Demetrius, and to make sure that the first thing he sees after this is the woman whom he hates, but who loves him so much, Helena. Puck ends up finding Lysander and Hermia, lovers, sleeping on the forest floor. He puts the love juice in Lysander's eyes and leaves. Then along come Helena and Demetrius to this spot. They are still arguing and Demetrius leaves her with the sleeping Lysander and Hermia. Helena notices them there and tries to wake Lysander. Lysander wakes and the first thing he sees is Helena. "And run through fire for thy sweat sake. Transparent Helena! Nature shows art, That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart."(2.2.103). This is what Demetrius says to Helena when he sees her. He has fallen in love with her. This is where the comedy of this love mix up begins. Now Helena is confused and thinks that Lysander is playing a trick on her so she runs away. This is a most particularly funny part of the play and these mix ups with whom loves who seem to be the funniest pieces of the play.

Another funny section in this play is where Puck puts an ass head on the shoulders of Bottom.

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This happens when Bottom is gathered with a bunch of people who are getting ready to do a play for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. Bottom is kind of a bossy guy and the others are a little disrespectful of him because of this. Bottom is discussing with the others how they are going to go about pretending to be a lion in this play without scaring the ladies who will be watching the play. They are talking about putting a lion head on snug the joiner. Puck comes along and notices them and notices Bottom. He decides to pull a little prank on them all so he puts an ass head on Bottom's shoulders. When the others see him, they are frightened of him for some reason and think that he is an ass because of the head. "O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray, masters! Fly, masters! Help!."(3.1.91) Quince yells this out when he notices the head on Bottom. Obviously he is frightened by the surprise. "O Bottom, thou art changed! What so I see on thee?"(3.1.101) Snout shouts this out at Bottom when he sees him with the head. Everyone is afraid of him just because of this silly ass head on him. This is quite a humorous section in this play. It is all caused just by puck putting a head on bottom's shoulders. It makes for quite a commotion in the forest. Puck may also have done this to make sure that Titania was to wake up and only Bottom be in the area so that she would fall in love with him.

The last funny part of the play to talk about is when Titania falls in love with Bottom and his ass' head. Just after all of the people run away that Bottom was rehearsing the play with, Bottom starts to sing. Titania, who is sleeping with Oberon's love juice applied to her eyes, is awakened by Bottom's singing. She sees him and so the love juice goes to work. "I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again: Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note; So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape; And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me. On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee."(3.1.123) Titania has now fallen in love with an ass. She has actually fallen in love with Bottom with the ass head on him but it is still a very funny event in this play. Titania continues on to pamper Bottom as her lover. She feeds him and gives him places to sleep and the like. We even find a side of Titania that we didn't know about before. Titania notices that it is about to rain and she is annoyed at all of Bottom's complaining. "Tie up my love's tong bring him silently." She says to her fairies. This shows that she is forceful.

Puck mixing up the lovers and putting the love juice in the wrong peoples' eyes on numerous occasions, Puck putting the ass head on Bottom's shoulders and causing the people to be afraid and to run away, and Titania falling in love with an ass and pampering it and loving it just like anything else. We can see from all of the above examples that the play, A Midsummer Night's dream, is in fact a play that is made up of humourous situations and that it seems to be reasonable to classify it as a comedy.


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