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Describe the role of fairies in shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.please send me...

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neeta2011 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:05 PM via web

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Describe the role of fairies in shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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neneta | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:44 PM (Answer #1)

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In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” there are two essential worlds: “the world of the court” and “The world of the wood”. The first ascribes the hierarchic and rational Athenian court, in which Theseus, the Duke of Athens rules over the young couples, Hermia/Lysander and Helena/Demetrius. In contrast to the well-ordered Athenian court, the wood represents fantasy, imagination and dream. Titania and Oberon, respectively the queen and the king of fairies, reign over it.

Consequently, the wood pertains to the irrationality of the events happening to the youth. Hence, as soon as they cross the threshold court/wood, they succumb to a realm in which anything is possible because the rules governing it are senseless and lawless and only make sense to the fairies. For example, the use of the love potion is an artefact used by Oberon to alter the apparently order of the events-the love potion makes the Athenians fall in love with the wrong people. Furthermore, the love potion produces incoherence, for instance, when Titania falls in love for one of the artisans who has been transformed into an ass.

Conclusively, the fairies provide a primordial function in the play. They set off the fantastical elements in order to make possible the “dream”, which is the leitmotif of the play.

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