A Midsummer Night’s Dream Analysis

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream


William Shakespeare was a renowned play writer whose literature works are in study to date and remains conventional. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of his mature comedy plays focusing on fiction, love, reality and dreams while addressing the fundamental questions of life. Language and imagery are the main descriptions of the characters. This essay shall describe a masque and its elements using the play.

A Masque

This is a form of artistic performances of the 16th and 17th centuries. They were meant to privately entertain a court of royalties. With its public version being a pageant, its roots are in

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Analysis

earlier traditions and an incorporation of modern cultures. Players in lavish costumes and masks, rich sets and music accompaniment, acted a brief story based on mythology and allegory together with social and political commentaries most favorable to the hosts. It included poetry, singing and dancing on whose end, dancing was opened to the guests. The concept of the masque filtered in the community until all social classes became part of the celebration. (Kennedy, 1999)

The Play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ As a Masque

The play’s resemblance with the masque is revealed by its complete lyrical aspect where he cites the plot handling and characters as common for masques. It appears to have been intended for private entertainment evident by Oberon’s conclusion song that evident the poet’s congratulation after a marriage a concept that is a clear stipulation of a masque. The play has maintained a mythological background and the complex world of spirits giving it the peculiarity of a masque. In addition, the play is characterized as being more poetical than dramatic. It is turned into a poem of comedy an aspect of a masque. (Kennedy, 1999)

How ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Could Incorporate More Masque Elements

Although Shakespeare’s play is an example of a masque, it has elements of antimasque. This means that more elements of a masque could have been used to make it a perfect masque. The aspect of a masque could have been represented by avoiding the description and picture language, blending of tones and harmony of speech. The mechanicals and the influence of the dance could have been isolated. The play needed a visual recreation to create the atmosphere of the dream concept in tonality. This could have been done by giving characters distinctive voices and off stage noises and cries. The element of dance could have been effective if it was given a delectable embellishment aspect. Music should have been used to create harmony with the audience where on the contrary only Hippolyta managed to share the awareness with the audience. (Kennedy, 1999)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Analysis


Shakespeare was professional and artistic in his plays. However the play A Midsummer night’s dream is more of both a masque and antimasque. Making it a masque would mean the removal of the antimasque elements. Despite this the play remains a foundation of modern plays.


Kennedy, K. 1999. A Midsummer night’s dream: Critical tradition, New Jersey: Campus Drive Somerset Publishers