What is Shakespeare's theme of nature in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream satirizes pastoral literature. Pastoral literature, very popular in Shakespeare's day, presents rustic, urban life as ideal and city life as corrupt. Yet, since A Midsummer Night's Dream satirizes pastoral literature, while all the characters venture into nature to escape, they wind up being even further troubled due to corruption. Hence, Shakespeare develops a theme of nature to show that nature isn't really the ideal escape pastoral literature paints it as; so long as human nature exists, corruption will always exist, no matter where the human being is located.

In line with pastoral literature, Shakespeare sets up the city of Athens as a corrupt setting . Its corruption is revealed in its unjust laws. Though Duke Theseus tries to rule based on compassion, reason, and justice, the fact stands that a law exists in Athens permitting a father to execute or exile a daughter who disobeys his wishes,...

(The entire section contains 465 words.)

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