Oberon sees Demetrius and Helena arguing, where Demetrius tells Helena, “I love thee not. ” So Oberon decides to do something about it, and tells Puck to place some of the love-in-idleness into Demetrius’ eyes, therefore he will then love Helena. Things aren’t that simple though, as Puck places the herb into Lysander’s eye instead of Demetrius’. This now starts to cause the confusion between the young lovers. Lysander wakes to see Helena; therefore he now loves her instead of loving Hermia. Oberon then places the love-in-idleness into the correct mans eye (Demetrius).
This causes further confusion on as both men now love Helena, and she automatically thinks they are playing tricks on her, “O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent / To set against me, for your merriment:” Helena and Hermia then fall out, as Hermia believes that Helena has stole her love’s heart from her. “You thief of love; what, have you come by night, / And stolen my love’s heart from him? ” The two girls, who have been best friends from a young age, now argue. They have been betraying each other for their love and Shakespeare is showing the power in which love can have. Hermia: “…
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes. ” / Helena: “… But she is something lower than myself, ” / Hermia: ” Lower? Hark again. ” Etc. Shakespeare gives us, as the audience, a situation that involves both Titania and Bottom. This situation comes about when the mechanicals are also in the woods practicing their play, Pyramus and Thisbe, which they are going to perform before the Duke on his wedding day. Whilst they are practicing the play, Puck plays a little trick on Bottom, which turns him into half an ass. All the other mechanicals run away as they are scared, leaving poor Bottom alone in the woods.
Bottom doesn’t yet realise at this point, and therefore thinks that his friends are playing a trick on him. He thinks they ran away to make a fool of him and to frighten him, therefore he shows no fear by singing. Whilst all this was occurring, Titania was sleeping overhead in her bower. She had previously had the love-in-idleness dropped into her eyes by Oberon. This meant the next thing/person she saw when she awakened, she would instantly fall in love with, “What angel awakes me from my flowery bed? ” In this case that person was Bottom, as his singing awakened her.
“I pray thee gentle mortal, sing again… to swear I love thee. ” Bottom now being the man that he was saw a good opportunity to take advantage of such a beautiful fairy as Titania whilst she was in a vulnerable state. He went along with everything that Titania said to him, and she even got her fairies to work for him. Shakespeare shows us a blind love, as Bottom uses Titania for all he can get. Their relationship is lively, “Come, sit thee down upon my flowery bed” but they relationship could also be described as fake. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses different types of language.
These include, prose, rhymed verse, blank verse, shared rhyme, and iambic pentameter. Rhymed verse is when the lines rhyme, (usually the last word of a line) or half rhyme and also each line starts with a capital letter. On the other hand though, blank verse has no end rhyme but each line still starts with a capital letter, which in the play is used a lot by Puck, “I’ll apply to you eye, / Gentle lover, remedy. Prose resembles everyday speech which, in Latin, prose translates to ‘straightforward’. In other words it is just basic continuous writing.
Shared rhyme is where two or more characters are talking and their lines rhyme. Shakespeare used shared rhyme within characters to show emotion and the love connections between the characters. Demetrius: “I had rather give his carcass to my hounds. ” / Hermia: “Out, dog! Out, cur! Thou driv’st me past the bounds. ” Here Demetrius and Hermia are arguing over something involving Lysander, and Shakespeare uses shared rhyme to show how mad Hermia is. The mechanicals talk in prose all throughout the play, except when they perform “the most lamentable comedy, / and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.
” This is as they are lower status characters. In the play within a play they then attempt to speak in verse as they are acting, but aren’t very good at it as they fail to pronounce words correctly. Flute: “O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans, / For parting my fair Pyramus and me. / My cherry lips have often kissed thy stones. ” Also during the play within a play the mechanicals often speak to their audience using prose. This is as they want to be taken seriously, and not treated as a joke. Starveling: “All that I have to say, is to tell you that the lantern is the moon, I am the man in the moon…
” Iambic Pentameter, is used in poetry and drama to give it rhythm. The rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables, which are called ‘feet’. Shakespeare uses this sometimes when characters are again showing emotion. It is also used by the mechanicals in the play-within-a-play. This just to make the play have a rhythm to it so it sounds good, as Elizabethans went to listen to plays, not to watch them, “O grim / -look’d night, / O night / with hue / so black, / O night / which ever art / when day is not: / O night, / O night, / alack, / alack, / alack. ”
Towards the end of the play, Shakespeare includes a dramatic device of a play- within-a-play. The play is called Pyramus and Thisbe, and is performed by the mechanicals. Shakespeare uses this to present us with yet another type of love; a love to die for. The play consists of two main characters, Pyramus and Thisbe who are deeply in love. A wall stands between their families ground, through which they secretly whisper. They arrange to meet at Ninny’s tomb , but a lion is there which chases Thisbe away. When Pyramus finds clothing with blood on, he thinks his love is dead, therefore kills himself.
Later Thisbe returns to find her dead lover, and then does also kill herself. The play reminded me of another of Shakespeare’s wonderful plays: Romeo and Juliet. The two are very similar as they both consist of two lovers who can’t be together, one thinks the other is dead, therefore kills themselves. Then the other awakens/returns to find their dead lover and the play ends with them then also killing themselves. The play of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ends by the fairies coming back to the Duke’s wedding to bless him and Hippolyta.
An Elizabethan audience would have loved that as they believed in supernatural, plus the two lovers patiently waited four days, and four nights to sleep together as also reproduction was also a big part of Elizabethan’s lives. Bottom is left alone at the end. This is as he took advantage of Titania and he was greedy so took for granted everything he had. Therefore loneliness was his punishment. Puck apologises to the audience right at the end of the play, which is Shakespeare’s way of saying sorry to any people he may have caused confusion or offence to during the play, “If we shadows have offended, / Think but this (and all is mended)…
” I think Shakespeare’s message of the play is that, “the course of true love never did run smooth,” that you should never rush into sleeping with someone and also that you shouldn’t take anything or anyone for granted. We are shown that love can make people do things that they wouldn’t normally do. Hermia, and Helena’s betrayal of each other, resulting in their friendship to break is a good example of this. Also we are shown that young love is very complicated and confusing. The play is still accessible to us today, and love, along with its confusions and problems remains the same.