Magic

Just like comedy in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, magic is present in two ways: the world of the fairies and Puck’s language and his meddling, but there is also the magic of love (aww!).

Magic effects all the characters in different ways. The Athenian lovers have their lives turned upside down by the love dew and Demetrius has been permanently altered; however, they don’t even notice or question it and pass off the whole experience as a dream. Bottom at least recalls it, but again dismisses the magical night he passed with Titania as a wondrous dream, while Titania dismisses it as a terrible nightmare.

Questions – have a think yourself first before clicking on the spoilers to see my analysis.

1) Does Puck’s magic used for good or bad? Are there any sinister undertones?

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2) Do the magical characters care about how their actions effects of their actions on the human characters? Are they sympathetic or mocking toward the human characters?

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3) Demetrius is still under a spell at the end of the play; can magic be the basis for true love? Is magic disturbing the human world or simply setting things straight?

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4) Is Shakespeare suggest magic really exists? Why does Puck tell us we can dismiss the play as a dream?

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Author: Mr Sir

Although I've only been teaching Literature since 2011 and did my degree in History, I think that makes me better placed than many Lit teachers to provide notes that make sense and aren't garbled and wrapped up with inaccessible terminology and effluent nonsense. After adventures in Uganda and Uzbekistan, I am now settling down in the Netherlands. However, currently I am just about as unsettled as I have ever been, with a new job, a new baby, a new country and a hundred other things going on! Ask me a question, collaborate or abuse me.

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