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A Midsummer Night's Dream

  • Date Submitted: 03/26/2014 01:32 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.4 
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''Often, I think, we are left with a kind of fault line, a crack, a little moment of discord at the end of a Shakespearean comedy, that makes us question the completion and the unity and the harmony of the conclusion' – Dr Eric Langley.
To what extent is the ending of the play harmonious?

An accepted convention of comedies is that they need to have a happy ending, or at least an ending that the audience/author is happy with. Traditionally, a comedy is a play where 'a certain structure is present and works through to its own logical end'. Or, as Sean McEvoy said 'Critics tend to regard something as a comedy not so much because it makes us laugh... but because a certain set of conventions are being followed.' The ending of A Midsummer Night's Dream is one that appears to be harmonious at the end but in actuality is one that leaves a lot of the complexities brought up in the play swept away swiftly to make way for the 'harmonious' ending.

Bottom being left to think that the events of the forest are simply a dream is another complexity that is 'swept away'. Bottom awakes on his own and so he has nobody to share his dream with who experienced a similar occurrence to himself. When Bottom awakes, he says 'I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was'. He is left to believe that that is all it will ever be to him, simply a dream. He is unable to hold onto the real memory like the four lovers are. Bottom is even unable to articulate what he experienced, 'Methought I was – there is no man can tell what. Methought I was – and methought I had...' Throughout the play Bottom has been a comical character, in particular the way he speaks in malapropisms, when he uses the wrong word the audience laughs. Does the audience agree that Bottom should be left with nobody to share his dream with, and have them share something back – is Bottom's ending fair? Bottom, in a comical way, declares that he will get Peter Quince to turn his...


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