The Role of the Woods in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Essay

540 Words3 Pages
What is the role and significance of the Woods and fairy land in the book “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”? Sean McEvoy’s article “Comedy and Power” and R.A Foakes article “Introduction” are two attempts to answer this question. These two articles are very similar in their opinions. Both of them agree that Athens is a place full of tyranny and the fact that the lovers flee from it taking refuge in the Woods is a complete mistake. According to McEvoy, in the Woods the lovers will not find the freedom, because it is full of Theseus power. Foakes, in contrast, says that they have escaped from one form of tyranny to encounter another, in themselves. To understand better this situation, it is necessary to see the differences between Athens and the Woods, the two main scenarios of the play, and why the second one is so important. On one side, McEvoy’s article says that Athens is a place where the state and patriarchal authority is present and the power of the men over women is imposed in a savage way. This situation is reflected in Egeus authority over his daughter Hermia, who wants to marry Lysander but his father opposes. For this reason, they decide to refugee on the Woods, but what they didn’t know is that in this place there is other type of hierarchy, the “fairy kingdom”, where Oberon and Titania are the kings with their respective servants. While the lovers believe that in the forest they may be free, according to McEvoy this place is full of Theseus power, because although in the magic world the law of Athens is not fulfilled, in the real world it remains and it must comply. The Woods represents for the lovers a state of freedom, but everything is an illusion. On the other side, Foakes has the vision of Athens as a place symbol of civilisation, a city of wisdom and order, where the lovers flee to the woods, symbolic of the wilderness, only to find they have

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