Though A Midsummer Night's Dreamis not necessarily a serious play, Shakespeare deals with serious subjects. What are two of the serious subjects that are addressed? How do you know that while he wants...

Though A Midsummer Night's Dream is not necessarily a serious play, Shakespeare deals with serious subjects. What are two of the serious subjects that are addressed? How do you know that while he wants his audience to enjoy the show, he also expects them to get something meaningful from it?

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chieeditor318 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although it is a comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream certainly raises important issues and seeks to provoke thought on the part of the audience. One issue the play deals with is the gender roles in Shakespeare's time. The fantasy setting of the play allows Shakespeare to try out different conceptions of gender roles. For instance, several of the characters seek to escape society's rules regarding marriage by escaping into the forest. In the end, the marriage ceremonies demonstrate the triumph of traditional gender roles, but the temporary fantasy space outside society suggests those roles are open to challenge. The play also points to divisions of class in Elizabethan society, exemplified by the working-class "mechanicals" whose language and attitudes disrupt the reality of the other characters. The fantasy setting allows the play to challenge gender and class distinctions in a non-threatening manner.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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