Do you think the fairies play a provocative role in A Midsummer Night's Dream? Please explain in detail.

2 Answers

User Comments

somanswasom's profile pic

somanswasom | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

. Do you think the fairies play a provocative role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
rabrown's profile pic

rabrown | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

It depends if you include Oberon, Titania and Puck.

Assuming you are including them (and I would argue you should) then, yes, the fairies do play a provocative role. However, it is too simplistic to suggest that it is only provocative, Oberon, particularly, reacts to the plight of Helena that he witnesses and thus his actions, and thus Pucks, are responsive to the disruption that dominates the middle of the play. However, his decision and choice of action, as well as Puck's mistake, provoke one of the comedic elements of the play- the lovers confusion in the forest. Therefore he responds with empathy to the lHelena's plight but also provokes confusion and eventual resolution of the play. 

It is also important to consider the importance of the rift that underpins the relationship between Titania and Oberon. Had there not been this provocation- Titania's rejection this will considerably alter the events of the play and thus the issue of their relationship also provokes the development of the plot and the relationships therein.

In order to offer a balanced and detailed answer it is also important to consider that it is Hermia and Lysander's forbidden love and refusal to accept the laws of Athens which sparks there escape to the woods. Therefore, the effect of the patriarchal society also needs to be considered.

Unrequited love is also at play, with Hermias rejection of Demetrius and his of Helena and this too, linked with the forbidden love needs exploration.