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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Research Papers

Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy with many unique twists and turns. Research Papers on A Midsummer Night's Dream can be custom written by the expert writers at Paper Masters.

Shakespearean comedies are excellent topics for literature research papers, especially A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare's most fanciful comedy. Driven by pure fantasy, Puck's pansy juice spreads mischief and mad passionate love in all the wrong eyes. Lysander and Demetrius both fall in love with Helena, and Titania falls in love with the ass-headed Bottom.  "Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note. So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape" (Act III, Scene I). Here we have the most outrageous of Shakespeare's situations. Mad lust is given free reign in the night air of the woods, as fairies and men act like asses.

Love in the Form of Comedy

Bottom is the only rational-thinking person in the play, he wears the head of an ass. "I see their knavery," he declares, "this is to make an ass of me" (Act III, Scene I). The pun lies not only in the words but the actions. Shakespeare is presenting lust/love as an absurdity; passion fit only for fools. It is, in many respects, his most negative comment on the emotion, the subject of so many of his plays. In order to do so, he presents a world of fairies and fools. The overall disguise in A Midsummer Night’s Dream belongs to the playwright, dressing disdain in the form of comedy.A Midsummer Night’s Dream

At his core, Puck is a fairy. 

  • He is as unpredictable as life itself. 
  • His very nature is to be as one with the shifting tide of fate and is able to maintain his self-awareness throughout. 
  • Puck is the symbolic representation of the very malleability of life. As he is portrayed, Puck is a creature who puts an identity upon the “random domestic mishaps, the unseen or disguised power that we still sometimes feel to be behind a daily world experienced as perverse, of for unexplained reasons resistant to or thwarting of our purposes,”.
  • Puck is the embodiment of those parts of our lives which do not go exactly the way we planned (either for the good or for the bad).
  • In Puck, as is in life, there is no malevolence in the things he does. Though impish, he is not devilish, nor is he angelic. Good and evil are terms unsuitable to this fairy.

Fairies are ambiguous creatures, as Shakespeare painted them.  They exist in a world of darkness, in the middle of the night, the middle of the summer, the middle of the year.  They live on that balance point in life where things can always go either way.  But, of those fairies, Puck is the only one who is aware of this. Puck is no more than that force in our lives which makes new things happen, he is all the unexpected change, he is our very nature. “The boundaries between the human and the [fairy] continually dissolve and reform,”. In all of his inconsistency, the one part of Puck which does remain constant, is his sense of humor. 

Puck Is A Fairy

Of all the fairies, “Puck is the most purely entertaining,”. To maintain a sense of humor, especially when things do not go as planned, is Puck’s gift. This is the very message of Shakespeare’s play, that life is complicated, that it hits bumps and changes constantly and that, through it all, maintaining a sense of humor will put that very nature of life into its proper perspective. As the humans of the play, the four core subjects and the bumbling thespians, encounter change, they resist and become obsessive over their sense of what should be, rather than what is. Puck, and what he represents, exist to help people see that life, indeed, is change. That the very nature of our existence is to be malleable (like Puck) and that only with humor will we be able to ride the wave of life, rather than being drowned by it. Laugh at your mistakes, laugh at what life throws you for, through humor, it is possible to get through anything. Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, is a work with a moral: experience and enjoy the changes life brings, because they will always come. Puck is the only truly self-aware character in the play and it is that quality which gives him the greatest power of all the characters: that of being able to change freely. His consistency is, indeed, his very inconsistency. Puck is also the only character in the play who truly understands that to adapt to change, we must be able to maintain a good humor about it. Our plans for life will never follow the exact path we map out.  Nor will they prepare us for the twists and turns that will be forced upon us. Shakespeare clearly lets us know that, through Puck, we will always have a choice, to laugh, or to cry.

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