A Midsummer Night's Dream

Play Within a Play in a Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare frequently used his literary works to make statements on social issues. A Midsummer Night's Dream obviously addresses the conflict between men and women by portraying several relationships, father and daughter, husband and wife, in which the man tries to exert his will upon the woman. Shakespeare chose to use an interesting perspective in A Midsummer Night's Dream, presenting a play within a play to portray different endings to similar conflicts between father and daughter, one tragic, one happy. Shakespeare's use of Pyramus and Thisbe within A Midsummer Night's Dream also allowed him to make important statements about the drama genre in his time (Smith N. Pag.). A Midsummer Night's Dream may be among the most whimsical of Shakespeare's works, but he wound together powerful statements on two diverse subjects in an extraordinarily adroit manner. Shakespeare used the play Pyramus and Thisbe within the play A Midsummer Night's Dream to comment on the position of theater during his time, which was often subject to the will and whim of both church and state, and frequently threatened with censorship.

It is important to recognize the history of theater to understand the status of theater...

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