Act V — Elizabeth Browne

In my opinion, I didn’t think Act V was completely necessary of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but alas it was enjoyable and humorous (at times). It was strange how Shakespeare felt it was so necessary to add this last “tidbit” in when he very well could have concluded his play with a few dialogues more to Act IV. I thought Puck’s line was a great ending to this strange, but great play: “Think but this, and all is mended: That you have but slumbered here, While these visions did appear.” He speaks these words at the neared end of the play and I think they weirdly sum up the entirety of A Midsummer Night’s Dream because exactly what he says is what occurs between the characters. I also find his final lines to be rather enjoyable, like I noticed blogger alexatirapelli mentioned. I think that although I didn’t find this act to be fully necessary that I wouldn’t have preferred it to end any differently. I liked that he concluded with this all being able to be transformed into a dream if the play attendees didn’t quite understand the point of it or didn’t enjoy it much. I overall enjoyed this whole play because although it brought in many characters that were occasionally hard to follow, it also brought together two things that I need in order to be engaged fully in a story line: humor and strange character relationships/actions. I also loved that it was a love based story without all of the “mushy” extras. The characters did what they had to do to fall in love with the right people. I truly enjoyed that aspect. 


4 thoughts on “Act V — Elizabeth Browne

  1. melissanau

    I’m curious as to why else you think the act is unnecessary. I do agree that more elaboration at the end of Act IV would have fit in nicely. Personally, I wanted to hear from the “lovers,” particularly Hermia. I like how you pointed out that Puck describes the play as a dream in case the real audience didn’t like/understand the play, because that’s essentially what the mechanicals do as well to their audience of the nobles–I didn’t make that connection before.

    1. Elizabeth Browne Post author

      Honestly, after going over Act V more thouroughly in class, I found that it definitely was more necessary, but I still find myself nothing thinking it was 100% necessary. I thought some of the things pointed out in Act V could have easily been placed in a final scene of Act IV, personally. I did, like you, definitely want to hear about the lovers! I liked reading about them because I was confused as to what was going to happen between them. I just thought that some of the dialogue within the last act was more like “jibber jabber.” Again, just my opinion!

      1. hackb

        I felt the same way about Act 5. It seems like it was necessary, but not worthy. And although it was a good, solid, ending for the play, it just leaves the question of why? What happened that Shakespeare felt this was the necessary course of action, and, for that matter, the logical course of action? It seems like it was just an odd and peculiar technique to use in order to end the play. But, it was entitled a “Midsummer’s Night Dream,” and that adds a level of mysticism to the text and what is happening. Maybe this fantastic aspect is what Shakespeare was working towards, and felt that’s why he could utilize this kind of ending.

  2. januseer1

    I do agree Elizabeth that perhaps Act V wasn’t wholly “essential” to the play insofar as wrapping up the plot. Act V feels less less consequential than maybe an ending should, the entire Act feels sort of flighty and without weight. However I also agree that it was simply entertaining and fun. It almost sort of feels like a reunion episode to a tv show long that airs a good while after said show’s been off the air? Like in terms of narrative importance it’s more, “Hey let’s get the gang back together and have a good time” then “this is it: the stunning finale.” That said I am glad it was included, definitely the funniest stuff happens in the last Act.


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