In Act 1, we see the typical adolescent rebellion; Egeus is pressing his daughter Hermia into marrying Demetrius but she has no interest whatsoever, her heart solely belongs to Lysander. Egeus gives her the option of possible death or being sent to a nunnery, before he leaves he says to her, “take time to pause” (83) to think over her decision. Without hesitation Hermia and Lysander devise a plan to runaway. Shakespeare is hinting a sense of humor, typical youngsters going against their parents’ wishes.

Shakespeare hints more comedy through his character Helena; she acts like a complete fool because she is so head-over-heels in love with Demetrius who wants nothing to do with her. She is so in love with him that she’ll do anything to win his attention. On line 188-189, Demetrius says to Helena, “I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia?” Helena exposes Hermia’s plan so she can run off with Demetrius to find the lovers.

In Act 1, scene 2, I was slightly confused with the conversation between Quince, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and Snug. I had to re-read the section and finally realized they were discussing their play for the wedding.

In Act 2, scene 1, I didn’t understand as to where these fairies came from? In my opinion it seemed random? Shakespeare’s characters in this scene seemed very childish; there was gossiping and tricks played. Puck and the fairy gossiped over the feud between Oberon and Titania; Oberon wants to make the changeling “Knight of his train” (25) but Titania refuses to let her personal attendant go. The two characters continue to bicker back and forth acting like children. Oberon is annoyed and jealous at this point so he turns to trickery for revenge on Titania. When Titania is asleep, Oberon will squeeze drops of flower juice onto her eyes and she when she awakens she will fall in love with the first thing she sees; “lion, bear, wolf, or bull, on meddling monkey, or on busy ape” (180-181).

Although Shakespeare makes his characters selfish/jealous/childish/foolish, it gives the story a sense of humor.
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3 thoughts on “

  1. Amanda Wolfer

    I agree with you, bringing in these fairy characters seemed a bit random to the play. As said in class, the reader we are supposed to assume they are human-like with special physical capabilities and some what scary! A notable theme in Shakespeare's works are his outrageous love connections which I feel creates the comical effects. It is difficult to follow but it seems that love and marriage are what consumes these people in this particular time period.

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  2. Jillian Landau

    I definitely agree with the characterization of Hermia’s behavior as teenage rebellion. To our generation arguing with our parents is the epitome of rebellious behavior. I think, though, someone in another blog mentioned that Hermia’s act of defiance is also something that was unheard of in her time. Her rebellion, while comical to us (or familiar!), was extremely daring. I always find it quite refreshing to see a female character in classic literature rebelling against her male counterparts.The argument between the fairy king and queen was so trivial it was entirely hilarious, but at he same time it was serious. These two powerful characters have nothing else to argue about so they put all their effort into their respective sides. The argument, on the surface, doesn’t seem that important, but the king and queen are duking it out for real, so it adds an underlying tone of seriousness. Shakespeare’s talent for combining hilarity with seriousness through his words and his characters is impressive, and really makes for a interesting read.

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