A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Literary Essay Choose one of the following topics as a focus for your literary essay. Be sure to support your statements with evidence from the text, and be sure to document correctly using MLA format. Required length: 2-4 pages (500-100 words).
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare writes characters that “belong” in one of three distinct worlds: the world of the Athens court (e.g. Hermia), the world of the forest (e.g. Oberon), and the world of Athens tradesmen (e.g. Bottom). The ways in which these worlds interact and intersect is the heart of the play. Explain why you think Shakespeare designed his story like this. Why are there three worlds in one play? What effects does Shakespeare intend for this structure to have on the audience?
Explain how Lysander’s statement, “The course of true love never did run smooth” (I,i,134) fits each of the four pairs of lovers.
When Helena says “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind” (I,I,234-235) how does this statement fit the four pairs of lovers? To Pyramus and Thisby?
All characters in literature are motivated by something or someone, be it their ambitions, goals, other characters, their moral beliefs, etc. Choose a character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Egeus, Theseus, Oberon, Puck, Titania, Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, Helena, or Bottom) and explain using examples and thorough explanations the motivation behind their actions and/or decisions.
Though Bottom often steals the show in performance, Puck is usually considered the most important character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Comparing Puck to Bottom, why might Puck be considered the protagonist? In what way does Puck’s spirit dominate the mood of the play? In what ways does the comedy surrounding Puck differ from that surrounding Bottom?
Trace the references to dreams and dreaming in the play. What do "dreams" represent? Who presides over the dream world, the forest at night? What is the power of dreams? Can dreams have an effect on "reality"?
Your essay will be graded using the District 18 Common High School Writing Rubric. You should already have this from the beginning of the year, but if you need another you may request a copy.
Additional elements that will be part of your mark include the correct use of MLA formatting, and using the class time provided constructively-to write.