Discuss fairy tale elements in Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fairy Tales are stories that intend to teach a moral by using mortal people interacting with magical or supernatural creatures or events. Many times these creatures and events are not fully explained as to their origin or purpose. For example, we don't know where Oberon comes from or where he received his power. All we know is that he is powerful and can manipulate humans and other fairies--even his own wife--through the use of his magic. Puck is another creature who has powers to transform into anything he desires while also helping Oberon achieve his magical designs. A fairy tale must have magic, poetic images and a happy ending, but it must also teach a universal truth or theme as well. Some themes found within this tale deal with very real-world experiences for Shakespeare's time. For example, women didn't have any rights within the law and were either owned by their fathers or husbands. Without a little magical intervention, Hermia would have eloped with Lysander, but would never have been able to return home. That isn't happy! Luckily, with a little help from a higher power (Oberon) Hermia is freed from Demetrius's claim to her when his heart is changed to love Helena.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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