|Scooped by Diane Newberry|
In this analysis of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the author focuses on the diminished parental roles of the play. Hermia and Lysander deny the authority of Egeus, Hermia's father, and Theseus, the "father of Athens", by running away to get married. In the forest, they "experience a freedom that they would ordinarily be denied." Even Lysander's trusted aunt, who is a parental figure in his life, never appears in the play. The article also analyzes how the production of the play within a play, Pyramus and Thisbe, parallels this theme. The actors, "for the sake of dramatic naturalism and clarity", decide that they need to replace some of the roles in the play with other jobs. Snout, who originally played Pyramus's father, becomes the Wall, literally standing in the way of Pyramus and Thisbe's love. Starveling, who had been slated for Thisbe's mother, is assigned to represent Moonshine, and Quince, who was going to play Thisbe's father, now has to read an explanatory prologue. All of the parental roles in the play are discarded, much as the young lovers have discarded the authority of their parents. A Midsummer Night's Dream incorporates many worlds: the realm of fairies, the uppercrust tragedy, and the common folk attempting to put on a play. These worlds are intertwined by the analogous themes, and the elimination of parental roles is only one way in which they are tied together.
Petronella, Vincent F. "Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT's DREAM." Explicator 37.1 (1978): 5. Literary Reference Center. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.