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An Explication Of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

1683 words - 7 pages

PAGE Pascual PAGE 1
Pascual, James.ENGL116Professor Wing7/19/2007Essay #2: Explication of A Midsummer Night's DreamWhether it's The Beatles, our boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives or our own friends that confirm the validity of that statement, we know that to some degree, it's true. "All you need is love, love.. Love is all you need." We think about it, sing about it, dream about it and even lose sleep worrying about it. Love can be directed to not only one person but others, as well. Love can be shown for anyone and anything. In a nutshell, love is a rather short word, easy to spell, difficult to define but impossible to live without. In "A Midsummer Night's Dream", William Shakespeare presents a comedic but romantic interpretation of love in its various forms.The play focuses on the idea of lovers finding one another and being free to marry, as represented by three unique couples: Theseus and Hippolyta, Hermia and Lysander and Helena and Demetrius. Like all of Shakespeare's plays, the opening scene of the first act is of great significance because the main characters and basic conflict are introduced to the audience. In addition, they foreshadow how the play will progress. In the opening scene, the two couples are introduced and the conflict is set as Hermia's father Egeus forbids her to wed Lysander, her true love; instead, Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius, who is adored by Helena, Hermia's best friend. The opening scene of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" boasts many instances of elements of style that aid in the development of the play. Shakespeare's definitive and elaborate uses of diction, theme and characterization in the opening act/scene of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" prove to be essential to the development of the characters and main theme of the play.Shakespeare's use of diction in the opening scene of the Act I helps to introduce the main characters in a formal but significant way. The scene opens with Theseus and Hippolyta, where their wedding is soon to take place. As the two converse, Theseus brings to stage the fact that before they fell in love, he and Hippolyta were once enemies on a bloody battlefield through his statement, "Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword, And won thy love doing thee injuries. But I will wed thee in another key, With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling." (1.1.16-19). Shakespeare's use of the formal words "thee" and "thy" appear throughout the bulk of the play but in this particular scene, they show the tender side of Theseus and how genuine his love really is for Hippolyta despite their ghastly differences from the past. In addition, Shakespeare's use of the terms "pomp", "triumph" and "reveling" once again bespeak of Theseus devotion to Hippolyta. As stated in the Oxford English Dictionary, pomp is regarded as 'Splendid display or celebration ", "triumph" as "A public festivity or joyful celebration" and "reveling" as "riotous or disorderly merry-making or festivity." Based on these three...

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