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What are 3 character traits for the main characters in a midsummer night's dream with...

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dylan15 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 16, 2011 at 5:16 AM via web

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What are 3 character traits for the main characters in a midsummer night's dream with quotes from the book. NEED A.S.A.P

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neneta | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 16, 2011 at 10:12 PM (Answer #1)

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First of all, it's important to distinguish three groups of characters in "A Midsummer Night's Dream": the Athenians, the artisans and the fairies. Thereafter you can consider some of the main characters of each group.
 
Theseus, Hippolyta, and the couples Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius are representative of the Athenians. Theseus, as the Duck of Athens, is in the top of the social hierarchy of the play. Hippolyta is the conquered queen of Amazons, now betrothed to Theseus. The two other couples reflect the problematic of unhappy love. Thus, Hermia and Lysander are in love but Hermia's father wants her to marry Demetrius. Helena desperately loves Demetrius, who courts Hermia. Thus, if you choose Theseus, you can say that he represents power and maintains the social order. Similarly, Theseus being in the top of the Athenian hierarchy incarnates the law of the father.  Furthermore, he epitomizes reason and rationality. Look at the following lines:

"The lunatic, the lover, and the poet

Are of imagination compact." (5.1 4-5)

 Obviously, he considers his love for Hippolyta as a matter of fact since he has defeated the Amazons. On the other hand, you can say that the young Athenians are the fools and lovers whom Theseus mentions. Their main characteristics are to be in love.

In the group of the artisans or " rude mechanicals" you can consider Bottom as an important character. Apparently, Bottom may represent foolishness because his transformation into an ass. However, he is what we may call a wise fool because as he says to Titania: "reason and love keep little company nowadays" (3.1 128). Since he is also eager to play all parts in the play the artisans rehearse he may also represent creativity and imagination.

Then you can consider Robin Goodfellow, also called a Puck. He is the mischievous spirit who contributes to the discord among the four young Athenians in the woods.  He impersonates transformation, by making things happen that are only possible in a world of fantasy or dreams. However, we shall not say that he is entirely malicious, we may rather impart that he is a playful joker who enjoys the discordance he spreads around him, as he says so well in: "Lord! What fools those mortals be"(3.2 115).

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neneta | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM (Answer #2)

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First of all, it's important to distinguish three groups of characters in "A Midsummer Night's Dream": the Athenians, the artisans and the fairies. Thereafter you can consider some of the main characters of each group.
 
Theseus, Hippolyta, and the couples Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius are representative of the Athenians. Theseus, as the Duke of Athens, is in the top of the social hierarchy of the play. Hippolyta is the conquered queen of Amazons, now betrothed to Theseus. The two other couples reflect the problematic of unhappy love. Thus, Hermia and Lysander are in love but Hermia's father wants her to marry Demetrius. Helena desperately loves Demetrius, who courts Hermia. Thus, if you choose Theseus, you can say that he represents power and maintains the social order. Similarly, Theseus being in the top of the Athenian hierarchy incarnates the law of the father.  Furthermore, he epitomizes reason and rationality. Look at the following lines:

"The lunatic, the lover, and the poet

Are of imagination compact." (5.1 4-5)

 Obviously, he considers his love for Hippolyta as a matter of fact since he has defeated the Amazons. On the other hand, you can say that the young Athenians are the fools and lovers whom Theseus mentions. Their main characteristics are to be in love.

In the group of the artisans or " rude mechanicals" you can consider Bottom as an important character. Apparently, Bottom may represent foolishness because his transformation into an ass. However, he is what we may call a wise fool because as he says to Titania: "reason and love keep little company nowadays" (3.1 128). Since he is also eager to play all parts in the play the artisans rehearse he may also represent creativity and imagination.

Then you can consider Robin Goodfellow, also called a Puck. He is the mischievous spirit who contributes to the discord among the four young Athenians in the woods.  He impersonates transformation, by making things happen that are only possible in a world of fantasy or dreams. However, we shall not say that he is entirely malicious, we may rather impart that he is a playful joker who enjoys the discordance he spreads around him, as he says so well in: "Lord! What fools those mortals be"(3.2 115).

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