Despite its length, William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream proves to be able to carry its weight in whimsy and wisdom on a plethora of topics. There are different settings or worlds in this play, such as that of the mechanicals (the lower class workers), the mortal lovers (the upper class Athenians), but perhaps most notably the land of the fairies. All the problems of the entire land are brought front and center into an earth scattering level of events deep in the land of the fairies. It is a world that we can nor explain or understand in terms of how in the woods this land just exists. For the sake of the play, the fairy world is where the main events occur and magic is vital to the comprehension of the story. The juxtaposition of the unbelievable so close to reality helps greatly in considering and bringing the real actions of the characters into the limelight although some are sparkled with magical elements. The fairy world in A Midsummer Night’s Dream serves as a place where the most reality actually happens despite the magical qualities of the fairy world. Through the magic that exists in this world, many realities about the characters’ true intentions (good or bad) are revealed causing balance to be restored in the most unlikely of places. Through the four lovers as well as Oberon, Puck and several other key characters the plot is able to burst out in ways we would not be able to see in the other two worlds.
Oberon’s intentions are able to be made true, as only in the fairy world they could be. He wants the changeling from Titania, plain and simple. She refuses because she was meant to take care of the child. (II,i,86) But what Oberon wants he shall get. Here in the land of fairies, Oberon can get what he wants through magic, instead of directly breaking the law. Puck, or Robin Goodfellow from the fairy world does Oberon’s bidding where Titania falls in love with Bottom (a mechanical) who has been changed into a half-ass, half-man. This is actually perfect to Oberon’s master plan that while she is distracted, she will not been able to protect the changeling while under a deep love spell that he is only too happy to devise.
The imperative element to grasp from this is Puck is someone else, a fairy this time, whose intentions come out rather early although they can be blurred at times. He had the free will to say no, or create a nicer creature for her to fall in love with in the least. Puck wants to have these bad intentions masked with oh, Oberon made me do it. Although extremely subtle, Puck has the ability to say no. He is nobody’s minion and Shakespeare tries to have the reader fooled that he is indeed such. Also, Oberon’s intentions end up being perfect and working very well into the sequence of events in the play. The funny, whimsical ending where Titania is no longer in love for the potion is countered off of her through magic, could only be pulled off in the land of the fairies where disbelief does not exist and the spice of life is to simply go along joyously in your life.
Oberon’s intentions although cruel for he does successful kidnap the changeling can be seen mischievous like that of Puck’s. When he causes Lysander to love Helena and Demetruis to also love Helena through the love potion, Hermia does not understand what is happening and she is terrified and close to despondent. For previously she and Lysander were running away together to escape her father, and Helena did love Demetruis. Now, she wakes up and he loves her back somehow. It is such a complex feat to have someone you love to love you back that while it first seems awful that Demetruis is now permanently in love with someone not by choice. This is something the audience profoundly struggles with. It feels like a curse no human or fairy would want or deserves. The conclusion one may come to is that yes, it is better to have that love. Maybe he wakes up and truly loves her. There are so many variables. Perhaps it should be looked as a better life for Helena. However, while Oberon seems like this menacing, cruel character he actually for better or worse strongly influences the plot in many ways. Ultimately, he creates joy despite being cruel; again it seems this level of vast change can occur in the already wacky world of the fairies.
The women in this play are made to be simple and perhaps not the most intelligent and being in the land of fairies causes us to see a potent version. This is Shakespeare’s not so subtle way of displaying gender differences. We have Titania who doesn’t even care when her changeling is stolen. We have Helena chasing around Demetruis (II,i,202 -210) Helena is completely okay with Demetruis treating her like a dog as long as she loves him and he loves her back. So the women’s intentions are not that complicated to analyze and interpret for the women themselves are created by Shakespeare to not be that intelligent thus have no depth of character. Titania had such a great chance to be the exception; however she puts up no fight and it appears she does not even care about the child in the end. This makes her seem like a complete airhead for lack of a better term, again discovered deep in the fairy world.
Lysander and Demetruis’s intentions are clear but distorted by the powerful love potion inflicted upon them. Lysander wants to do much more than sleep next to Hermia at first. Hermia insists that he sleep on that rock over there, way over there. This is comical but it shows that Lysander will be patient to win Hermia’s trust so that they can consummate their love once they are married. Demetruis, however, wants nothing to do with Helena who is chasing and begging him to love her. Shakespeare makes the women look pathetic and devout compared to the men who have the power in this play. It is something about the time period where the men and women are clearly parallel to one another. Compared to the mortal world, things are too normal and calm. We get a background which is important, but the real action happens in the land of fairies.
In conclusion, there are so many factors that go into this play, William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The three areas in which the play takes place all shape different elements of the play, but none more powerful than the land of the fairies. In this land, through love potions and complicated plots and a large cast of characters one can discover the true intentions of all the characters because they are in the fairy world and it seems so many things change and become clear once one is in this magical world. Oberon and Puck, our cruel man and our lovable prankster show their true colors. The analysis of how women are dealt with and treated like second class citizens can be seen through not only their treatment by males but by how they themselves behave. Finally, there is that juxtaposition to consider. The fairy world is so close to the mortal world. Does this perhaps cause the world to be more believable, because while being so different on the surface maybe it is not? It is a world where people want to be happy. That is what the four lovers wanted by coming there unintentionally. It is what Oberon wanted. It is what Titania wanted. Is it a coincidence perhaps that their happiness is achieved in the fairy world? No, it is clearly intentional that the fairy world represents closure and resolution. It does this flawlessly; one simply needs a bit of the magic for themselves to see it clearly.