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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay: You are going to write a 4-5 page paper (double

by | Mar 22, 2022 | Communications | 0 comments

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay: You are going to write a 4-5 page paper (double-spaced, one inch margins, 12 point font in Times New Roman) in which you will closely read and analyze MND. You will provide readers with a full, well-supported explanation of your analysis and conclusions.
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Research: You will NOT be using outside sources for this essay. Rely solely on the text. There are no right or wrong readings. As long as you can logically support your conclusions with specifics in the text, you will be fine. You will, however, be using specific words/lines from the text. You must cite in proper MLA style. See bottom of this prompt for how to properly cite lines from a play.
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Audience/Rhetorical Context:
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This essay should be written for a college audience who know MND. Aim at people who are educated at levels of first-year students to professors. Your language, style and tone should reflect your audience and purpose. Be careful NOT to give too much summary—remember, you are supposed to analyze the play, not provide a detailed account of the events of the play. Your job here is to convince the reader to accept your interpretation.
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***Make sure you have a TITLE for your essay
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***Make sure you have a WORKS CITED page for your essay
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**Remember your Works Cited page does NOT count toward the total 4-5 page requirement!
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Here are several ideas you can consider. PICK ONE ONLY!!!!!!
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1. Consider the role of women and/or men in the play. How is gender represented in the play? Does one gender have more power over the other? How/why? Be sure to discuss specific scenes in the play which substantiate your argument. You can also consider the role of marriage here, especially since the play opens and closes with marriage—although it might be interesting to consider why Shakespeare does not show us the wedding ceremonies of the three characters. You can either choose to talk about the Athenians (Theseus, Hippolyta—ok, she’s not technically an Athenian—Lysander, Hermia, Helena, and Demetrius) or the fairies (Titania and Oberon). This doesn’t necessarily have to be a feminist critique—remember, we have plenty of male characters to analyze. How does the play define and/or complicate our idea of “man,” “woman,” “human,” and “not-human”? Limit your discussion to a maximum of 2 couples!
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2. This may be a bit cheesy, but what, exactly, is the role of love in the play? Are characters truly in love with each other? What do many of our characters have to say about love? For example, Lysander says, “the course of true love never did run smooth.” This is true both in the fairy world and in Athens. Why/how? Bottom tells us, “Reason and love keep little company together.” Is this the underlying moral of the play? Is the fairy court more rational than the human court? How do the two courts compare?Limit your discussion to a maximum of 2 couples!
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3. Discuss the role of social order in the play. Is Athens a better place at the end of the play? Is patriarchy still enforced? If so, is it a varying degree of patriarchal authority? What do you think of Theseus as a Duke? Is he fair? What do we think of the Athenian law? Is it any different at the end of the play? How/why?
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4. There is a lot of chaos in this play—you can discuss how the chaos in Athens affects the chaos in the fairy world. There seems to be a lot of darkness and violence in this play, even though it is a comedy. Why does Shakespeare include all these scary passages? Does this destroy the atmosphere of comedy and romance?
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5. Consider the role of injury, pain, and warfare in the play.
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6. What sort of creature is Puck? How would you describe his actions in the play, and do you think he might be the most important character in the play? Why/why not? In doing so, you might need to consider his relationship with Oberon. Be sure to point to specific passages in order to defend your position.
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When citing lines from a play, you need to provide act, scene, and line numbers. For example, my favorite lines spoken by Theseus would be written this way: “Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword/ And won thy love doing thee injuries” (I.i.16-17). I is act one, i is scene one, and 16-17 are the line numbers. Notice that each line is separated with a forward slash.
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Here is a block quotation:
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Theseus demonstrates his sexual prowess over Hippolyta when he says,
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Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword,
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And won thy love doing thee injuries.
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But I will wed thee in another key,
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With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling. (I.i.16-19)
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Choose one of the 6 prompt questions at the bottom (1-6) you desire.
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