A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

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How does Shakespeare create comedy in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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jalden eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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What makes comedy, among other things, is contrast. This play is full of contrast. The Mechanicals/Clowns are contrasted with Nobles and Fairies. Another element of comedy is literalism. The Clowns take everything absolutely literally and all things to them are of equal seriousness. The fairies provide us with a way of seeing the mortals through their eyes and they find the behaviors of the mortals hilarious and therefore so do we.

It is important to remember that each character has intentions, desires, and a powerful reason to be wherever he or she is. These often conflicting intentions and...

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Wiggin42 | Student

Shakespeare creates comedy through Puck's shenanigans and by employing the "rude mechanicals". Puck's mischief with the love juice creates humor. Bottom trying to play every role in the play is hilarious. Titania falling in love with Bottom who has the head of a donkey is also funny. Of course, individual directors interpret the play different and add their own comedic pieces based on the text. 

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glumbum | Student

There are many reasons A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy.

Here are a couple of examples-

1.There are many malapropisms in the play. For example in Act 5 Scene 1 Bottom says 

"Since lion vile hath here deflower'd my dear" He really means devoured on deflowered.

2.As the Clowns are creating their play they make very funny decisions like having a man play the part of moonlight or having a man play the part of a wall. The Clowns stupidity is funny and entertaining. They also decide that a mad can play the part of thisbe as long as he wears a mask.

3.The mix ups and mistakes with love potions and feelings between the four lovers is comedic. First Demetruis chasing after Hermia and Lysander running away with Hermia into Lysander and Demetrius chasing Helena and her thinking they are mocking her into Lysander and Hermia as a couple and Helena and Demtrius as a couple. 


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