I need help writing an essay about how Shakespeare presents the theme of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several major themes in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. The first major theme is love, which is presented in a series of relationships including those of the young lovers, that of Titania and Oberon, the marriage between Theseus and Hippolyta, and the story of Pyramus and Thisbe we find in the play within the play. Although all the human relationships conclude with marriage (except the story of Pyramus and Thisbe which ends in the lovers' deaths), the satisfactory ending in the case of the four young lovers is the result of magic, and while Hippolyta seems resigned to her forced marriage to Theseus, neither that marriage nor the relationship of Oberon and Titania resembles a form of romantic ideal. Love as Shakespeare portrays it is, at best, imperfect.

The second theme, of reality and imagination, shows a magical pastoral world of fairies, and contrasts it with our real world. This magical world is the one evoked by the poet and the lover; Shakespeare suggests that under the influence of love or poetry, we often fail to make rational judgments.

jalden eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The theme of Midsummer Night's Dream IS Love. It is the only theme. Shakespeare uses his story and characters to show the myriad aspects of that human experience, and, because this is a romantic comedy, written as an entertainment for the wedding proceedings of a noble patron, all ends happily.

 In this play, the fairy world represents the archetypal world of ideas and essential passions. When the male and female principals, represented by Oberon and Titania, are out of sorts, as they are at the beginning of the play, nothing can go right with their counterparts in the human world. That is the primary premise within which the play is set, and which the rest of the story and all the various other romantic relationships take place. When this breach is finally healed, as it is at the end, all becomes well in the human world as well.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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