A Midsummer Night's Dream Themes & Symbolism

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Focusing on such issues as love. dreams, and reality, A Midsummer Night's Dream has been regard ed by critics as Shakespeare's first mature comedy, a work which addresses fundamental questions about life, Since love triumphs at the end of the play, dispelling the chaotic magic of the night, the drama seems almost conventional. Thus a traditional reading of the play tends to emphasize the joyful outcome, regarding the supernatural elements as the natural background for a story which celebrates life. However, a rather different interpretation was suggested in 1961 by the eminent Polish scholar Jan Kott, who in his seminal Szkice 0 Szekspirze (Shakespeare. Our Contemporary) drew attention to the sinister undercurrents of this seemingly charming and gentle love story. Unlike earlier critics who only touched upon the dark side of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Kott dismisses the romantic view of Shakespeare's work, maintaining that the play essentially focuses on...

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This section contains 1,016 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Midsummer Night's Dream Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
A Midsummer Night's Dream from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.