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Give 3 examples of how A Midsummer Night's Dream relates to a teenager today.How do the...

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loomesy97 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 18, 2012 at 3:17 AM via web

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Give 3 examples of how A Midsummer Night's Dream relates to a teenager today.

How do the themes presented by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream relate to a teenager in today's world - specifically, why should this play and others like it keep being taught in highschools?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 18, 2012 at 5:31 PM (Answer #1)

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This play is a good choice for the “Shakespeare” slot in a high school curriculum for many reasons. First, there is no violence or bloodthirstiness; next, the three layers of romance demonstrate the depths of “love” and “attraction” a person can feel—the superficial attraction of Titania to Puck, the romantic attraction of the young people, and the mature, committed noble attachment of Theseus and Hippolyta. Next, the language, the poetry of the imagery, is accessible and memorable; next, the contrasts of the mise-en-scenes—the court where stable social rules and behavior prevail, and the forest, where magic, spirituality, emotion, and nonlogical behavior can flourish—and then the town rustics, ostensibly social and logical, rehearsing a classic tale in the primordial setting—make for interesting discussions in the classroom. Finally, the “play within a play” device can be added to Shakespeare’s genius, and can be compared to the play within a play in Hamlet. The fact that the heroes and heroines are teenagers makes the play accessible to young students, also (and Puck is a most amusing character). In conclusion, this play takes all the stuffiness out of studying Shakespeare. (There is no supportable argument for eliminating Shakespeare from the high school English curriculum.)

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