How would you appreciate A Midsummer Night's Dream as a comedy with reference to various characters?

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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Despite his reputation as an author of excellent tragedies and drama, Shakespeare is also often uproariously hilarious. Many people consider A Midsummer Night's Dream to be one of Shakespeare's funniest plays, and its status as a comedy owes much to its stellar cast of characters. In particular, the characters Puck and Nick Bottom do much to contribute to the play's comedic atmosphere.

Though all the craftsmen/players make for great comedic relief, Bottom is by far the funniest. An arrogant but lovable blowhard, Bottom yearns to play all the roles in the craftsmen's play and sees no potential problems with this arrangement. Furthermore, he spends much of the play wrapped up in a romance with the fairy queen Titania, despite the fact that he simultaneously sports a donkey's head. As such, Bottom gives the audience the chance to enjoy some good old-fashioned physical comedy as he struts around with donkey's ears sprouting out of his skull.

Though Puck is not as bombastic as Bottom, he still is a major contributor to the comedic plot. Indeed, Puck is responsible for mistaking the identities of the Athenians lost in the wood, and as such he administers the love potion to the wrong people and causes the complicated romantic confusion that serves as the play's main plot. In that case, if it weren't for Puck, most of the play's hilarious action would not take place.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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