How can I relate to the real world...with this topic of the supernatural in A Midsummer's Night Dream & MacbethHi I'm doing a seminar on my topic which is: find any two shakespeare plays which have...

How can I relate to the real world...with this topic of the supernatural in A Midsummer's Night Dream & Macbeth

Hi I'm doing a seminar on my topic which is:

find any two shakespeare plays which have a supernatural role in them

But When I am presenting to the class, I need to make a connection to the real world with this topic how can I?

Asked on by mavimalik

3 Answers | Add Yours

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

One definite connection between A Midsummer Night's Dream and the real world is its connection to historical and to present day pagan festivals of the Summer Solstice, which Midsummer celebrated and once again, at least for some, celebrates. Midsummer was a time of bonfires to honor the Sun, drunkenness, folk magic rituals and charms for maidens to dream upon to bring their true loves to them. The seemingly wild inventiveness of Shakespeare's comedy was founded upon festivities that were still widely popular in the Elizabethan era, though the festival had by then been Christianized and associated with John the Baptist.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

We do look to the supernatural in the positive ways that Post #2 talks about.  But we also look to it for a crutch.  I think that this is most clearly seen in Macbeth.

We often try to explain away our problems or the things we do that are wrong.  We say that we were just made some certain way or that our fate is what causes something to happen (or that it is part of "God's plan").  You can say that Macbeth is doing this -- he is letting the supernatural act as his scapegoat.  We do this a lot in the real world, I think.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There is something intrinsic to human nature that maintains the belief in the supernatural.  To this day, it is not unusual to hear people claim that fate brought them together with their significant others,  Or, they will proclaim that they are a certain personality type because of their horoscopes and their "signs."  Certainly, casinos are filled with people who believe in "Lady Luck."

Macbeth's succumbing to the predictions of the three sisters is not unlike a man who has gone to a fortune teller who reads the Tarot cards, or to a palm reader.  Much like modern people who have heard their fortunes, Macbeth feels that since chance is going to act for him, he will follow its course.

In A Midsummer Night's Dream Puck exclaims, "What fools these mortals be" and wreaks havoc with their hearts.  So often people wonder why they fall in love with certain people and chase them or make fools of themselves for love.  So, the fairy dust of Shakespeare's play finds itself often in the eyes of many a human being in real life.

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