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A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare
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How do the ideas in A Midsummer Night’s Dream make it enjoyable and entertaining?

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Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is about love, dreams, and perceptions of reality (and, by extension, perceptions of the fantastical). These ideas manifest themselves in a variety of ways: young lovers chase each other through a Greek forest and become entangled in the misplaced magical schemes of fairies, while "rude mechanicals" bumble about and struggle to practice a crude play-within-a-play. It is a story where nothing is as it seems, reality is a dreamy haze, and love dominates drowsy psyches.

It's hard to say exactly how these ideas make the play enjoyable to read, especially since different readers will find different aspects enjoyable (I, for one, think that Bottom is one of Shakespeare's most ingenious creations). It's possible to guess that the play's dreamy atmosphere, preoccupation with mischievous fairies and quarreling lovers, and commentary on the nature of narrative, are above all funny. Indeed, A Midsummer Night's Dream is probably one of Shakespeare's funniest plays, as its fantastical nature conjures some truly hilarious scenes. As such, though it's hard to say with objective certainty why the play is enjoyable, it's possible to guess that the dream-like atmosphere and the depiction of love's complications are quite simply funny to read or watch.

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