Contrasts can be found in almost every aspect of Shakespeare's light-hearted comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. The famous play, relies heavily on contrast, which possibly is the most important literary device used within the play. Consequentially, contrasts are constantly being made, chiefly between the three major character groups. These contrasts which become very apparent upon the examination of these character groups, specifically, the serious, sophisticated, love-struck nobles, who are completely opposite to the bumbling, earthly craftsman in every conceivable manner. The merry, mischievous fairies, of which the supernatural factor composed within the play, were introduced in a manner as to further this effect of contrast as they are almost diametrically opposed to both other groups. The dissimilarity of these groups revealed upon juxtaposition, in addition to the exposition of distinctive features of the characters is used to contribute the overall, dreamlike atmosphere produced by the play.
The first of the three main character groups was introduced in a manner reminiscent of Shakespeare's romantic tragedies, particularly Romeo and Juliet, lovers are torn apart.
The young nobles, who form the awkward love triangle were characterized as extremely serious and rather melodramatic, a character type typical of romantic tragedies. For example, when Theseus speaks Hermia of consequences that await her if she should choose to disobey her father', she replies:
So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty (act I scene I line 79)
This, passionately emotional proclamation of defiance, along with other similarly exaggerated statements and deeds of the characters belonging to group, created greater rift between the nobles and other groups. This allowed for stark and obvious contrast, while also elevating the comedy of the play. This...