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Analysis

Literary Devices in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

In Act 2, Scene 1, Puck fetches a pansy (a.k.a. "Cupid's flower") so that Oberon can use its magic juice to make his victims fall head over heels in love. Here's how Oberon describes it: The juice...

Setting

The play begins in (ancient) Athens, where Duke Theseus and Hippolyta are preparing for an elaborate wedding. Despite the upcoming nuptials and festivities that surround a nobleman's marriage, Ath...

Genre

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a classic example of Shakespearean comedy. What, you don't believe us? We'll prove it to you. We've got a checklist that details all the typical conventions and featu...

Tone

When we talk about "tone," we're referring to the author's and/or the play's attitude toward its subject matter. At the beginning of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the tone is pretty dark, wouldn't yo...

Writing Style

A Midsummer Night's Dream contains a fair amount of regular old prose (how we talk every day), but it's is famous for its dazzling displays of verse, or poetry. The three most common types of vers...

What’s Up With the Title?

The title suggests an atmosphere of fantasy, whimsy, and imagination, which is a pretty accurate description of the magical wood where characters experience events that seem more like a dream than...

What's Up With the Ending?

At the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck steps out on stage to deliver an epilogue, where he begs us, the audience, to "pardon" the actors if they didn't enjoy the show:If we shadows have offe...

Plot Analysis

Hermia loves Lysander, Lysander loves Hermia, Demetrius loves Hermia, Helena loves Demetrius, and no one loves Helena. Oh, and Egeus wants his daughter killed if she doesn't follow his plan of mar...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Hermia hears her fate, Hermia and Lysander escape to the woods, and Demetrius denies Helena his love and pursues Hermia instead.Hermia's father Egeus asks Theseus to rain down the Athenian punishme...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Egeus takes Hermia, Demetrius, and Lysander to Theseus's court. Theseus gives Hermia until his wedding to choose her husband. Lysander and Hermia tell Helena of their plans to run away; Helena tell...

Trivia

Before Shakespeare and his contemporaries portrayed fairies as harmless sparkly flying creatures, fairies were associated with the devil. (It's a good thing Shakespeare came along and wrote A Mids...

Steaminess Rating

There's a reason why the Playboy Mansion's biggest bash of the year is called "The Midsummer Night's Dream Party." The world of Shakespeare's play is a pretty steamy place. Still, what do we expe...

Allusions

Ovid, Metamorphoses – Transformation in the play; the source of the characters Pyramus and Thisbe.Chaucer, The Knight's Tale – The characters of Hippolyta and Theseus appear here. Also, Lysand...
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