"A Midsummer Night's Dream" - William Shakespeare

Essay by Zmac18College, Undergraduate November 2006

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** This essay was written for a specific passage in a specific book! ISBN: 0140714553 and pages 23 and 24**

In this passage, Oberon makes reference to the incident that creates further chaos in the play. Cupid's arrow landed upon a "western flower". When it's juice is laid upon sleeping eyes, the victim will fall madly in love with whatever creature it sees first. If it had not been for Oberon's fateful observation of Cupid's arrow, the play would have no storyline whatsoever. It is Puck's careless use of the herb (flower) that creates a story of magical love that has a somewhat comical effect. Not only was Puck careless, but he was also mischievous, for Oberon spoke

nothing of using the herb (flower) on anyone but his wife, Titanian, the Queen of the Fairies.

This passage is easily argued as a quintessential part to the play as a whole.

When Oberon

saw Cupid fire his arrow, it marked the destiny of all of the characters in the play. Somehow, this small incident touched each of their lives. Whether it was Lysander being made to fall in love with Helena, or Quince being relieved that Bottom had returned from his short-lived love affair with Titania. Each character was influenced in some way by Oberon's seeing of Cupid's misfire.

Puck's carelessness with the use of the "love-in-idleness" wreaks havoc mainly on Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena. Oberon entrusted he task of finding the herb (flower) to Puck at the end of this passage. If Oberon had chosen a beter suited creature to carry out his will, the play would have been much shorter, and with much less emotion. Puck's initial person just wasn't the right character for the task that Oberon was giving. "...you are that shrewd and knavish...