What is the role of magic in SHakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his famous speech in Act V, Theseus says to Hippolyta


More strange than true. I never may believe
These antic fables, nor these fairy toys.


Magic is an essential part of the "dream" aspect of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". In this magical dream world the fairies, Titania, Oberon, Puck, and their compatriots who permeate the woodland world, not only resolve their own, but also the mortal lovers' romantic difficulties. This magical dream world, which mixes classical Greek and English myth traditions, is one in which danger lurks, but also a beauty which evokes some of Shakespeare's most lyrical lines. The title, and even Puck's final speech, though, suggest that the magical world created for us in the play is only a dream world, bodied forth by the poets pen, and only existing for us as long as we are in the theatre.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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