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A Misummer Night's Dream, By William Shakespeare

903 words - 4 pages

William Shakespeare starts with a seemingly unresolvable conflict in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The main characters are lovers who are either unrequited in their love or hassled by the love of another. These lovers are inevitably paired. How does Shakespeare make this happen? He makes many subplots that, before long, are all snarled up into a nice little knot. So, what actions does Shakespeare take to resolve these new quandaries? He does with all of this with a special character: a mischievous fairy whom is known by the name of Puck. Puck is the catalyst for all these subplots and, indeed, for the entirety of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Try to take Puck out of the play. Is there anyway for the play to survive? No, without the character of Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be a whole different play.
The progression of A Midsummer Night’s Dream depends on Puck in many ways. Working backwards, there are two major instances throughout the play that would be forever changed with the loss of Puck. Half of the comedic quality of the play would disappear without Puck’s farcical reaction to Bottom. For who, but Puck, would see bottom and dislike his attitude enough to give him the head of an ass? Taking away this disfigurement would also cause King Oberon to feel less sympathetic towards his Titania which might ruin their happily ever after. Though this would have cost the play its comic tone, there is a question of even greater import. Were it not for Puck, who would King Oberon utilize to fetch him the flower containing the ever potent love-juice? As it is said King Oberon has quite a bit of power over Puck. Puck only ever listens to his King Oberon. Therefore Oberon is very secure in his decision to ask Puck. Without Puck, it is safe to assume there is none whom Oberon would trust with the task save himself. And if Oberon were the one to distribute the love-juice he would surely not mistake the Athenian youth, thereby cutting out half of the play.
Even if Puck is in the play, if he is changed in any way, the play would mutate as well. Shakespeare has many trickster characters. Puck is a troublesome sprite and is known to many fairies as Robin Goodfellow. Unlike some, Puck is one of the more benign/neutral pranksters of Shakespeare’s. This is seen when placed alongside Maria, Shakespeare’s prankster of Twelfth Night. Maria is conniving where Puck is cunning. They both use practical jokes as a source of amusement. They both want a good laugh. However, Puck does not discriminate where Maria does. It...

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