William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream utilizes the technique of multiple characters playing leading roles. The fairy character Puck stands out as a dominant and leading role in the play. Puck is the best fit for the role of the protagonist because he is mischievous and therefore, has the ability to change the outcome of the play through his schemes and actions. As the protagonist, Puck is responsible for creating the major conflict that occurs between the four lovers throughout the play. This is important because the play focuses on the lives and relationships of the lovers. In addition, because of Puck’s interaction with these characters, his actions throughout the play, alters the final outcome. Finally, Puck’s relationship with all the mortals in the play, his connection to his fellow fairies, and the bond he has with his boss, King Oberon make him the best choice for a protagonist.
Puck influences the plot with his use of the love potion by altering the lovers’ fates. This is supported by the quote,
“Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe.
When thou wakest, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid:” (II, II, 77-80).
This quote is one of Puck’s many monologues in the play. In this quote, Puck is talking out loud as he is sprinkling the love potion on Lysander, who he believes to be Demetrius. When Lysander wakens the effects of the love potion creates conflict between him and Demetrius, and also between him and Helena and Hermia. The men are fighting for Helena’s love and attention which causes Hermia to become jealous of Helena. Hermia is also quite confused because when she went into the forest she had two suitors, Demetrius and Lysander. After the love potion is sprinkled on Lysander’s (then later Demetrius’) eyes neither he nor Demetrius have romantic feelings for Hermia any longer. Once the love potion is used again as an antidote in Demetrius’ eyes everything becomes reversed and he awakens to find his true love, Hermia.
Puck also has another encounter with mortals by interfering with Bottom’s life. Bottom is the overdramatic and self-aggrandizing lead actor in a play that a group of amateur actors plan to perform at the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. They rehearse in the forest where Bottom explains how the cast will have to reassure their audience that the lion in the play is only “pretend”. Puck overhears Bottom and decides to test the casts’ imagination by placing a real asshead on Bottom. At the same time, the fairy queen Titania was placed under the love potion’s spell and the first thing that she sees when she wakes up is Bottom who looks like an ass. By doing this, Puck creates a twist in the plot and makes the play quite comical. It is evident that Puck’s relationship with the mortals has a huge impact on the outcome of the play. Additionally, Puck’s connection to the fairies is also very unique and special.
Puck has multiple interactions with his fellow fairies...