Illustration of a donkey-headed musician in between two white trees

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

Start Free Trial

How far do you agree that the character of Puck adds little to A Midsummer's Night Dream?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I would not agree that Puck adds little to A Midsummer's Night Dream. This mischevious hobgoblin, the only supernatural creature outside of Oberon and Titania to be given a distinct personality in the play, is important to the story's mood of eery enchantment and topsy-turvy love. 

It's Puck who puts the love potion meant for Demetrius into Lysander's eyes, causing Lysander to fall in love with Helena. This confusion provides some of the most comic moments in the play. Perhaps another fairy could have mixed up the potion, but who could have done it with Puck's exuberance?  Who else but Puck could carry off convincingly the famous line "what fools these mortals be," after he, ironically, had been a fool about the potion?

Finally, it's Puck who speaks the epilogue, leaving the audience with the mischevious question as to whether this entire play has been a dream:

If we spirits have offended /Think but this, and all is mended/That you have but slumbered here...

Who put such a spirit figure could put us into such doubt? Who else could later in the epilogue ask "if I be honest" and have us so focused on the "if?


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team