In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare has created a fantastical world of fairies and magic. And this world is not just a pretty backdrop for the events of the play. The fairies and their magic are the engine of the plot: Oberon's love juice sets the plot in motion, Puck's mistakes applying the juice and his mischievous transformation of Bottom's head into an ass's head complicates it, and Puck's tricks and illusions to keep the mortals while he fixes his love juice errors bring everything to a resolution. And in the face of this magic, mortal dilemmas such as the laws of Athens fall away.
The Supernatural ThemeTracker
The Supernatural Quotes in A Midsummer Night's Dream
You are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Called Robin Goodfellow. (19)
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. (235)
Titania waked and straightway loved an ass. (33)
To set against me for your merriment:
If you we re civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
With your derision! none of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport. (147)
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door. (297)
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend,
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long,
Else the Puck a liar call.
So, goodnight unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends. (430)