A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Coursework
‘Explore Shakespeare’s presentation of the wood and its inhabitants’
As the vast majority of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare is set within a wood, near the city of Athens, it is important to step back and thoroughly examine Shakespeare’s presentation of the wood, as well as its inhabitants.
Shakespeare presents the main inhabitants of the wood as fairies. There are many fairy characters in the play, but the main fairies are Oberon, the fairy king, and Titania, the fairy queen. Puck, a somewhat secondary fairy character, is a servant of Oberon’s. Shakespeare presents them in individual ways, but still manages to enscapulate the ways in which they contrast to the mortals in the play.
Shakespeare presents the setting of the wood in a way that makes it seem as if it is a different world altogether from the city. He makes exceptionally good use of imagery during acts 2, 3, and 4, which helps to present the surreal environment of the wood further. Shakespeare also uses clever language techniques to help show how the mortals are affected by this new environment, as well as revealing the sta0rk contrast between the wood and Athens.
Oberon can be seen as the main fairy character. He is the fairy king, and seems to wield a lot of power. Shakespeare’s initial presentation of Oberon is of a character who is angry and jealous. The first moment that the audience sees Oberon he is engaged in a dispute with Titania, the fairy queen, as he accuses her of infidelity.To begin with, Oberon and Titania enter from opposite sides of the stage. Oberon then starts his speech by acting in a rather malevolent way: “Ill met by moonlight , proud Titania”. Here, Shakespeare is suggesting that Oberon is breeding animosity between the two of them, even before Titania has the opportunity to say a word. Oberon’s words, “Ill met” help present this especially. He is also using plosive sounds, to highlight Oberon’s anger....