Contrasting Places in a Mid Summer Nights Dream Essay

Words: 1380
Pages: 6

TOPIC: Many plays and novels use contrasting places (for example, two countries, two cities or towns, two houses, or the land and the sea) to represent opposed forces or ideas that are central to the meaning of the work. Choose a novel or play that contrasts two such places. Write an essay explaining how the places differ, what each place represents, and how their contrast contributes to the meaning of the work.

Structure Vs. Chaos
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Contrasting places have been used in many works of literature throughout history to strengthen the meaning of stories. The use of two different settings within one story often represents opposed forces or ideas, and allows readers to get a better grasp of the meaning behind the
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Hermia and Lysander run off to the forest in order to love.
“There my Lysander and myself shall meet.
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes
To seek new friends and stranger companies.” (I.i.220)
Unlike the city, the natural world has no rules or structure and allows man to have his natural feelings without bottling them up or silencing them. What seemed like a brilliant escape plan however soon turns into an experience that none of the young lovers expected. The lack of structure and law – which were the very things they were trying to escape – ended up leading to chaos. The love potion created by King Oberon and administered to the four lovers by Robin Goodfellow (Puck) causes both Lysander and Demetrius to fall in love with Helena, even though they are both really in love with Hermia. Lysander claims that he was wrong in loving Hermia, and he has suddenly seen the light, and realized that he loves Helena and not Hermia.
“Content with Hermia! No: I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Not Hermia but Helena I love” (II.ii.111)
This is ironic because magic, not a sudden epiphany, is the actual cause of Lysander’s newfound love for Helena. With Lysander’s new realization Shakespeare is able to illustrate the lack of reason in the forest – he is able to show how instead of reason ruling decisions and thoughts, magic is actually in control. In the characters efforts to escape their seemingly horrible lives in the city, they actually ran