“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of the most interesting romantic comedies by Shakespeare that brings a rich display of comic stage elements and different associations throughout the play. The main characters within the play include Puck, Nick Bottom, Helena, Hermia, Lysander and Demetrius.
Puck has little development in his character throughout the play and is not really the typical protagonist. Critics have however pointed him out to be the main character of the play. The play moves through quick witted sequence of his magic charms and his deliberate pranks over human characters. He transforms Bottom’s head into that of an ass and even makes the mistake of smearing love potion on Lysander’s eyelids instead of Demetrius’s.
These significant developments made by the capricious spirit makes him a fancy filled and fun loving spirit. He is evocative of the play of his mind and his language along with bringing a delicate balance with the grace of fairies. He also displays several characteristic contradictions present within him. Some critics have called him the mischievous hobgoblin who is good hearted but can be cruel while throwing around his tricks.
Also Puck is not the ethereal and beautifully portrayed fairy. He is in fact, quite bizarre looking and has different connotations lying in his character that do not always relate to the best features of the ethereal realms. Nick Bottom becomes the object of Puck’s central source making him the center of comic serenade in the play. The subplot also involves a production where Bottom dominates his fellow participants of the play.
He also comes under the notion that he is perfect for every part of the play but makes a terrible deal out of his own speech. His foolish self importance reaches the highest pinnacle as Bottom’s head is transformed into that of an ass. When Titania gets anointed with the love potion he believes that the love of the queen was his rightful due. Bottom’s inability to accept that his head has been transferred with that of an ass has been paralleled with the perception that Titania could fall in love with him.
There is ridicule and absolute mockery played over through Bottom’s character with the mischievous cupid like games played by Puck.
Another important character in the play is that of Helena.
She is the lovesick woman who has desperately fallen for Demetrius. She is left out of the love triangle from the very initiation of the play but then she is the one who is constantly pondering over love and trying to make sense of it. She sets out to win her lover’s heart even while knowing his shortcomings. But once entering the forest she becomes painfully more aware of her shortcomings and even comes to the conclusion that Lydander is mocking her when declaring his love for her.
She has many underlying traits and misconceptions that are drawn out through her.
She stays utterly devoted to Demetrius but many of the confusions start happening with the placement of the love potion.
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