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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Love

Above all else, A Midsummer Night's Dream explores the nature of romantic love.  Its conclusion?  The pursuit of love has the capacity to make us irrational and foolish.  In the play...

Art and Culture

Throughout A Midsummer Night's Dream, a humble group of Athenian craftsmen (the Mechanicals) practice a play they hope to stage at Theseus's wedding celebration.  The play is Pyramus and Thisb...

Transformation

Transformation is a very big deal in this play, which isn't so surprising because one of Shakespeare's main literary sources is Ovid's Metamorphoses. In the third act of A Midsummer's Night Dream,...

Gender

Like many Shakespearean comedies (The Taming of the Shrew, for example), A Midsummer Night's Dream dramatizes gender tensions that arise from complicated familial and romantic relationships. ...

Versions of Reality

With so many subplots in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and so many intersections between people from different worlds, there's got to be some way to account for the different ways they each perceive r...

Foolishness and Folly

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy, so it's going to have its fair share of slapstick humor. It's obviously funny to watch a man with a donkey's head wander around on stage, but it's a different...

Man and the Natural World

Part of the strength of A Midsummer Night's Dream is that we're not always sure where humans and the natural world, as two separate elements, fall in relation to each other. Sometimes humans are pa...

The Supernatural

Magic is the delightful thread that runs through the tapestry of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Magic is about the supernatural elements of the mythic and fairy world (like Cupid's arrows on a starry n...
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