Shakespeare: A Midsummer night’s dream
This is one of the most popular comedies by William Shakespeare. Its meaning goes beyond what we can understand of a first superficial reading. In fact this work hides different themes. The theme of the power rules the scene from the beginning and it has the theme of love which sometimes springs from it opposite hate. In fact Demetrius falls madly in love with Helena after declaring ha hates her.
Another symbolic contrast is between city and wood, day and night: the city, which is always represented during daylight, is the symbol of rationality and order; the wood instead represents passion, imagination and magic and it's dark except for moonlight.
All the play is ruled by the contrast between appearance and reality. But we must notice that in the end the reason of the day prevails over the dream of the night, even if the last poetic words are pronounced by Puck who closes the play reminding us that life itself is a dream and a play.
The scene opens in Athens where there is preparation for the wedding of duke Theseus and Hippolyta. Egeus, an angry father comes into the palace with his daughter Hermia and says that he want her to marry Demetrius but she is in love with Lysander. Theseus understands Hermia's reasons but he tells her that if she refuses to marry Demetrius she will die or be put in a convent. Hermia and Lysander make a plan to escape together throught the wood, but Helena, Hermia's friend, decides to inform Demetrius and conquer his love. The Flight leafs the lovers and they pursuers to a different world, full of strange situations and governed by magic. In the wood, during the night, Puck, an elf commanded by Oberon king of fairies, plays many tricks on them. Meanwhile, a band of actors come to same the wood to put on a play that is interrupted when its star actor Bottom becomes a strange pawn in the love battles between Oberon and Titania, his Queen.
Anyway the comedy has a happy end beaucause at dawn Theseus, Hippolyta and their huntsmen find the couples in the wood and realise that war is useless against love as Demetrius is now deeply in love with Helena so Lysander can marry Hermia. Theseus invites them all to his palace and Egeus forgives his daughter. At the palace there is a play celebrate the Duke's wedding and the wedding of the other couples. The actors are Quince, Nick Bottom, Flute, Snout and Starveling. This is Called a "play in the play".