What examples from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream prove Horace Walpole's quote, "This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy for those that feel"?1. Life is funny for those who...

What examples from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream prove Horace Walpole's quote, "This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy for those that feel"?

1. Life is funny for those who use their mind.

2. Life is sad for those who use their heart.

 

Asked on by leo57yeung

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Puck is an excellent example to prove the first half of Walpole's quote, "This world is a comedy to those that think." Puck is a witty and independent thinker. As Oberon's court jester, he intentionally goes about performing all sorts of mischievous antics with the intention of making both himself and Oberon laugh. We especially see Puck using his witty, thinking mind to have fun with relation to the Athenian lovers. We might believe Puck when he claims he legitimately mistook Lysander for Demetrius because he had no idea there were actually two Athenian couples in the woods that night. However, after seeing the harm he has caused, when Oberon asks Puck to bring Helena to Demetrius so that he can fix the problem, it seems that Puck may have intentionally induced Lysander to follow Helena, that way he can observe the "sport" of two men fighting over the same woman. We know that he is enjoying the show because he states that absurd things please him the most, as we see in his lines:

Then will two at once woo one.
That must needs be sport alone;
And those things do best please me
That befall preposterously. (III.ii.119-122)

Helena's love for Demetrius is an excellent example to prove Walpole's other statement, "This world is ... a tragedy for those that feel." Helena is in love with Demetrius whom she was engaged to, but for no known reason other than a fickle nature, Demetrius transfers his affections from Helena to Hermia and begins wooing Hermia instead, even securing Hermia's father's consent to the marriage. Helena is left brokenhearted and performs absurd stunts in the hopes of winning him back, such as telling him about Hermia and Lysander's plan to run away from Athens, and pursuing Demetrius into the woods. 

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