Why A "Midsummer Night's Dream" is Still Relevant Today
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This paper discusses how William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is relevant to modern audiences, focusing on its serious themes that relate to the way human beings over-value romance, and the power struggles and violence that are masked by romance in male-female relationships. Additionally, the paper considers some of the messages in the 1935 film of this work, particularly the tensions that exist in love relationships. It further examines the power struggle between female autonomy and male patriarchy in the play's text. The paper also includes a brief plot summary and character analysis. It also analyzes various symbols in the play such as the forest and fairyland. The paper concludes by noting that the three major themes in the play, madness, love, and self-dramatization, are still interesting and relevant today.
From the Paper:"The power struggle between female autonomy and male patriarchy is dramatized in the struggle between Oberon and Titania as well, as the two engage in a war over ownership of a young boy, the child of a dead woman from India who was a votress of Titania. Their conflict disturbs the heavens, unlike the conflict of the pairs of teenage lovers, but it also raises the question of what is the nature of love--it implies that love is violent and possessive, rather than beautiful. Love is also fickle: Titania and Oberon love women and men, as well as one another, and their mix of hate, love, and jealousy creates a "progeny of evil" in nature and results in Bottom temporarily losing his humanity, as part of Oberon's attempt to humiliate the queen (II.1).
"The most dramatic part of the play demonstrating how love and ownership are often conjoined is waged over the coupling of four young Athenians--Hermia and Helena, and Lysander and Demetrius. In the first scene, the controlling nature of human relationships in Athens is depicted first in the personas of Theseus and Hippolyta, then between Hermia and her father. Hermia's father Egeus states that he wants his daughter to marry Demetrius, even though she loves Lysander. Interestingly, although Egeus seems inflexible and harsh, he does say something that resonates with the rest of the play, namely that lovers are impressionable and Lysander has "stolen the impression of her fantasy" with little else other than:" bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits" that he gave to Hermia (I.1). Demetrius is equally inconsistent. He played false with Helena when his affections inextricably switched to Hermia. Hermia refuses to obey her father, but in a strange turn of events, to win Demetrius' love back, Helena acts in a traitorous manner to her friend and tells her former fiancee that Hermia is running away with Lysander."
Sample of Sources Used:
- A Midsummer Night's Dream. Directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle. 1935
- Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night's Dream. MIT Classic Page. October 18, 2009. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/index.html
- Szakolczai, Arpad. "Image-magic in A Midsummer Night's Dream: Power and modernity from Weber to Shakespeare. History of the Human Sciences. 2007; 20 (4). October 18, 2009. http://hhs.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/20/4/1
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Why A "Midsummer Night's Dream" is Still Relevant Today (2012, May 20) Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/why-a-midsummer-night-dream-is-still-relevant-today-151060/
"Why A "Midsummer Night's Dream" is Still Relevant Today" 20 May 2012. Web. 23 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/why-a-midsummer-night-dream-is-still-relevant-today-151060/>