What are the two narrative frames in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Shakespeare?
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The primary plot in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare is the love triangle, or quadrilateral, between Helena, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius. Shakespeare uses two frame narratives, or sub-plots, to help shape this story. The first frame narrative is the plot around the faeries. Titania, Oberon and Puck influence the young lovers in the forest. The other frame story, who perform for the lovers, is the group of amateur actors rehearsing a play.
Shakespeare uses the frame narrative in many of his plays, presumably to hold the audience's attention for longer periods of time. Interestingly, some of the frame narratives he uses end up being abandoned. One example of this is the frame story used in "The Taming of the Shrew".
The narratives in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are successful in moving the plot and creating more interest in the characters and themes.
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