Theme 5 Essay

Submitted By Anavicky5
Words: 926
Pages: 4

Irony in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By
Ana Victoria Martinez

English 103, Section 1
Mrs. Elizabeth Rose
Theme 5
April 13, 2010
Word Count: 745

Outline
Thesis: The irony in this work presents humorous words or situations to develop the play into a comedy.
I. Verbal irony makes some of the characters’ words humorous.
A. Sarcasm occurs in the story to mockingly praise Bottom’s play.
B. Another form of verbal irony in the play is malapropism.
II. Situational irony humorously mocks the reader’s expectations.
A. Puck puts the love potion in Lysander’s eyes instead of Demetrius.
B. Titania, queen of the fairies, falls in love with Bottom, an insignificant mortal.
III. Dramatic irony creates humor by mocking one of the character’s ignorance.
A. The characters do not know that there are fairies around them.
B. Bottom is unaware that he has been turned into a donkey.
C. The characters do not know they are being manipulated by a love potion.
Restatement: Verbal, situational, and dramatic irony create humor in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Irony in A Midsummer Night’s Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream is play written by William Shakespeare’s plays and one of his most popular works. This play is a classic example of one of Shakespeare’s comedies because, along with some other reasons, it has a humorous tone. One way that Shakespeare creates humor in the play is through the story’s irony. There are many instances of verbal, situational, and dramatic irony in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The irony in this work presents humorous words or situations to develop the play into a comedy.
First, Verbal irony makes some of the characters’ words humorous. One example of verbal irony that occurs in the play is sarcasm. Sarcasm occurs in the story to mockingly praise Bottom’s play like when Demetrius says, “It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard” (5.1.164). He was saying that this play within the pay was best when, in reality, the play was very poorly executed. Another form of verbal irony in the play is malapropism. Bottom and the other mechanicals often say the wrong words, like when Bottom says, "And he himself/ must speak through, saying thus or to the same/ defect"(3.1.32-34). He uses the word “defect” instead of the word he actually intended to say, which is “effect”. Secondly, Situational irony humorously mocks the reader’s expectations. One example of this is when Puck puts the love potion in Lysander’s eyes instead of Demetrius’s. When Puck is instructed by Oberon to put a love potion on an Athenian, the reader assumes that the Athenian will be Demetrius so that he falls in love with Helena, who is already in love with him. Instead, Puck places the potion on Lysander, who was in love with Hermia, and he is now the one that falls in love with Helena. This mix up of people and the mess it creates is one of the most humorous parts of the play. Also, another form of situational irony occurs when Titania, the queen of the fairies, falls in love with Bottom, an insignificant mortal. Not only was Bottom mortal, but he was not in any way special and sometimes even appeared immature and arrogant. Titania, on the other hand, was a both immortal and a queen. This creates an unexpected and unlikely, yet funny turn of events. Lastly, dramatic irony creates humor by mocking some of the characters’ unawareness. For example, the characters do not know that there are fairies around them. These magical creatures are viewing…