Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

A Midsummer Night Dream - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare
Author : ykihn

Summary

A Midsummer Night's Dream" is compositionally one of Shakespeare's most complex works, and the attitude of different literary critics towards its key elements is far from univocal. Sir Roy Strong calls the lovers in the play "cardboard characters, silly and headstrong, no more than convenient vehicles whereby to send up the conventional love etiquette of the day"…

Extract of sample
A Midsummer Night Dream

And while the unnatural attachment of beautiful Queen Titania to monstrous ass-headed Bottom is perhaps the most striking variety of love of all found here, it is the inexplicable, hopeless love of Helena that is the deepest and most intricate emotion on display.
That Shakespeare intended to make Helena something greater than just a comedy character is shown even by the name he has chosen for her. "Helena" instantly brings to mind Helen the Fair of Homer. The similarity is emphasized by the Greek setting. Homer used his Helen as a symbol of love and beauty.
In "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Helena/Helen is still beautiful ("Through Athens I am thought as fair as she", I.I. 227), but unhappy in love. This toes the line with the general idea of the strangeness of the love's ways: "And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind. Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste" (I.I. 235-6)
The little change of adding a feminine -a inflexion to her name serves the obvious purpose of matching it to the name of her friend and rival, Hermia. And once again, the resemblance in names is employed to set off their different luck in love.
Helena is also the one whose mouth Shakespeare uses to voice hi ...
Download paper

Related Essays

Shakespeare women in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Perhaps, the only thing that, woman from Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, have in common is that they are tied, sometimes happily and sometimes not so happily, to the men that they love, and it is the rocky course of their respective relationships that forms the main theme of the play. They belong to three different social groups: Hyppolita is the Queen of the Amazons who is about to be married to Theseus, Duke of Athens and this makes her a royal person, well above the level of normal citizens. Titania is also a Queen, but her royal position is located in the land of…
5 pages (1255 words)
A Long Days Journey Into Night
The Tyrones represent a typical dysfunctional American family- James Tyrone, the father, is purely materialistic and has all through his life cherished the Great American Dream of getting rich; but he is an alcoholic with no soft sentiments for his wife and children. Mary, the mother, who lives in the past is irreparably addicted to Morphine; Jamie, the elder son, is a dissolute alcoholic, taken to women, whisky and songs and fails miserably at everything; and Edmund the youngest is committed to a sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis. As the play advances the four characters slashes…
4 pages (1004 words)
Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer night's dream'
According to several critics, the theme of love developed in the play is of highest quality and the play is noted for the dark side of love. The unexpected twists and turns in the love relations of different characters in the play point to the dramatist's great skill creating love tension and Shakespeare is in complete control of the plot, characters, themes, and language, which makes him create a masterly work dealing with the intricacies of love. According to Victor L. Cahn, A Midsummer Night's Dream is Shakespeare's first comedy in which the playwright is in supreme control and the…
6 pages (1506 words)
American Dream in American Literature
Like William Faulkner and other southern writers, she wanted to escape her birthplace. Her longings - the longings of an adolescent's American Dream - are reflected in her novel through the autobiographical character Mick Kelly. Mick's tomboyishness, her musical aspirations, and her dream to escape small-town life parallel McCullers' own life. To Mick, violin symbolizes freedom and opportunity. But when she feels that she cannot buy violin, she wants make one herself. This is the epitome of American Dream as seen from an adolescent's perspective, and the struggle to achieve it. But her tragedy…
7 pages (1757 words)
Love in Shakespeares 'As You Like It'
Through centuries, critics declare that William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is “not only the greatest playwright but the greatest writer in history, not only in the English-speaking world but internationally” (Hurt: 1055). For instance, the famous play, Romeo and Juliet, shows love as forceful; and as a cause of violence and even death, among others (http:/www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet.html). …
11 pages (2761 words)
Love and romance in The Great Gatsby
It is possible to single out two different worlds: the world of reality represented by wealth and money, and the world of dreams, which embodies love. Gatsby idealizes romance because only dreams have value for him. The theme of love plays an important role in lives of both characters, Gatsby and Daisy. The story is unique because the author depicts events, experience, time, memories through different people. Wealth and money symbolize stability and social recognition, while romance and love is desirable but unachievable. " Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-not through her own fault, but…
4 pages (1004 words)