What diction and image clusters help portray the overall atmosphere in Act 5, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream ?

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

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Another literary term for atmosphere is mood. Mood describes the emotional state or general atmosphere found in a given scene, entire play, or entire book. The mood in the final scene and final act of A Midsummer Night's Dream can be characterized as happy, gay, and full of mirth.

One clue that the scene is full of happiness and mirth is that the word "mirth" is actually used in several places. When the four Athenian lovers enter the scene, Theseus announces their presence with the line, "Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth" (V.i.29). Also, when he is calling for entertainment, he refers to Philostrate, his manager of the festivities in honor of his wedding day, as his "manager of mirth" (38). Finally, when Theseus is reading over the description of the mechanicals' play, he sees that the mechanicals have given their play the ironic description "a very tragical mirth" (61). Again, the use of the word "mirth" portrays the happy atmosphere of the scene, but also, the irony in this line helps add to the comedy of the scene.

The happiness in the atmosphere of the scene is also portrayed through some of the images, especially in the image clustered in Oberon's speech blessing the house and all of the couples. The image of "bride-bed" helps to paint the story's happy ending (398). In addition, the images of "nativity," "children," and "chamber" found in Oberon's blessing further paint the story's happy ending and demonstrate that the story of the play bares resemblance to a fertility rite (408, 409, 412).

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