The Comparison of a Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 September 2016

The Comparison of a Midsummer Night’s Dream

Between the years of 1588 and 1613, Shakespeare wrote 38 plays. His dramatic work is commonly studied in four categories: comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances. Although we commonly single out William Shakespeare’s work as extraordinary and deserving of special attention, at the time of the plays performances, they were typically released as popular entertainment. Where as Shakespeare’s works are studied today as timeless masterpieces, the original audiences knew the plays were good, but did not recognize them as exhibiting the climax of the dramatic art form.

Shakespeare’s sensibility and story telling captured people’s attention, and by the end of the nineteenth century his reputation was solidly established. (CliffsNotes. com) Two comparable comedies: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Taming of the Shrew” Two of Shakespeare’s plays, one called, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the other, The Taming of the Shrew, are two of his greatest comedies. The two plays are alike in some ways. For example how the play was written, the characters, and the kind of comedy are similar. (CliffsNotes. com)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a very creative play with many comedic aspects and many love triangles. Scholars estimated the play was written in 1595 or 1596 at approximately the same time as Romeo and Juliet and Richard II. While the play rejoices in the magical power of love to transform people’s lives, it also reminds us of love’s foolishness. It also tells of the violence often perpetrated in the name of lust. (sparknotes. com) The Taming of the Shrew, on the other hand, is marked by evidence as one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies.

The theme of this play is the marriage as an economic institution and the effect of social roles on individual happiness. It is also considered a romantic comedy. (sparknotes. com) The two comedic plays can be compared in several ways? Who is in Love with Whom: In The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Nights Dream, males in the play are in love with one woman, while the other woman stands alone at one point. In The Taming of the Shrew, Lucentio is in love with beautiful Bianca, while her sister Katherine, also known as “the shrew”, stands alone because everyone says she has a bad temper and she isn’t good looking.

At first the only reason Petruccio agrees to marry Kate is because of her father’s money. Also, Bianca is the prettiest woman in the land. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander is in love with Hermia, and so is Demetrius. Helena stands alone because everyone loves Hermia because she is attractive. Demetrius will never love her as much as Hermia. (Shakespeare Made Easy, sparknotes. com) Love Triangles: Both plays are love triangles. And in both A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming of the Shrew, some romance tension is seen. They both may be confusing, because so many romances are taking place.

(Shakespeare Made Easy, sparknotes. com) Overcoming Obstacles: In A Midsummer Night’s Dream the one obstacle the characters have to face is that “The course of true love never did run smooth. ” Also, in The Taming of the Shrew, they go through that a little because Petruccio only agrees to marry Katherine because of her father’s money. But then he realizes he can “tame” her. And in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love is just a mess in the story. People fall in and out of love with each other in an instant because of the magic potion Oberon gave Puck to cast over Lysander, Demetrius, and Titania.

Lysander and Demetrius then both fell in love with Helena instead of Hermia, and Titania fell in love with Bottom, who had then had an asses head. (Shakespeare Made Easy, sparknotes. com) The Father and His Orders: In both the plays, the fathers of the main characters are wealthy. In The Taming of the Shrew, the father of Bianca and Katherine is Baptista. He was a very wealthy man. And in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the father of Hermia, Egeus, is wealthy and a close friend of the Duke. Both fathers in the plays have orders for their daughters.

In The Taming of the Shrew, Baptista orders that Katherine gets married before Bianca does. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Egeus, orders that Hermia must marry Demetrius but she is in love with Lysander. (Shakespeare Made Easy, sparknotes. com) As you can see, many Shakespearian plays can be compared. They all are similar in some way. Shakespeare is a work of art and William Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest playwrights. His work is known everywhere and will be for many more centuries to come.

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