In very practical terms, could you argue that the play A Midsummer Night's Dream is really a comedy about the place of art and love in a stable society?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play’s theme can be the role of art and love in society because two main plots in the play revolve around the craftsman and the lovers. 

Shakespeare includes each plot, and gives each plot time, because he considers each to be important.  The play might be over at the end of act 4, because the main conflicts are resolved.  The two sets of lovers are correctly paired, and Egeus has had to accept that his daughter is marrying the man she wants, rather than the man he wants.  Oberon and Titania have reconciled, so it would seem that everything is done.

Demetrius reminds us that everything has been dreamlike, and it is not over.

Are you sure(195)

That we are awake? It seems to me

That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think

The Duke was here, and bid us follow him? (Act 4, Scene 1)

Yet we still have Act 5.  Act 5 is short, but it serves a purpose.  By presenting the play of Pyramus and Thisbe, Shakespeare reminds us of the irony and cruelty of love.  Yet we also see that while love is tragic, it is also both playful and hilarious.  The actors miss their cues, the audience taunts them, and everyone has a good time.  This reminds us that even though life is serious, we need to take time to be playful and even silly.  That is what life is all about.  That is why he turns the play over to the fairies at the end.


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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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