|Scooped by Tracy Ayotte|
William Shakespeare is said to be one of the greatest play-writes of all time. His plays have influenced generations of literature. A professor at Columbia University, Mark Van Doren, analyzed "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." In his literary criticism, he states that Shakespeare’s work is remarkable and it is extraordinary that there is poetry in every line of his plays. He continues by saying that "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," “shines [...] in darkness, but shines merrily” (1). Doren explains that this dark humor was popular in many of Shakespeare’s plays, such as "Romeo and Juliet," "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," and "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." Reoccurring themes in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" include flowers, the moon, water, and music. These themes are used to make poetic statements about love and nature. The fairies are a big part of the magical, poetic side of the story because they are surrounded and control nature. King Oberon and Queen Titania’s argument is believed to cause floods, “in anger at Oberon’s brawls [Titania] has sucked up from the sea contagious fogs, made every river overflow, drowned the fields and rotted the green corn” (3). The mystical explanation of why floods occur and the crop failure was hilarity during the Renaissance. Shakespeare’s purpose in writing about fairies controlling the weather was to make the play comical. Water is also used to express emotion and growth. “The roses in Hermia’s cheeks fade fast ‘for want of rain’ [I. i. 130], but rain will come” (3). The mortals’ love lives are being described with nature because the theme is poetic. Helena’s “eyes are bathed with salt tears” [II. ii. 92-3], Demetrius “‘hails’ and ‘showers’ oaths on Helena” [I. i. 245] and the pansy is soaked in its juices (3). Shakespeare’s poetry woven into "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" is used to make the language seem mystical yet natural.