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A Midsummer Night’s Dream presents us with three worlds: The court world of Athens, the fairy world of the wood and the world of the artisans. In act 2.1, we are introduced to the king and queen of the fairies squabbling over a challenging page boy, from whom Titania refuses to separate. In fact, their dispute is sufficient to cause disorder and chaos in the world around them, as we can see in the following lines:
“And throughout this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose…
The spring, the summer, the chiding autumn, angry winter change…”
Another important aspect in act 2.1 involves the Athenians, Demetrius and Helena, who cross the thresholds of the court and the wood. Demetrius is following Hermia with whom he is in love and Helena is after Demetrius, who disdains her. What is important here is that once in the wood, the human characters become vulnerable. In effect, the love portion used by Oberon to revenge the fairy queen will also challenge the young Athenians.
Thus, I think that the whole act 2.1 is important because we are introduced to the world of the wood, in which most of the action takes place and where the midsummer dream can be carrying out by the young Athenians and the “rude mechanicals”.
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