The tragedy of Romeo & Juliet vs the Comedy of "Midsummer Night's Dream".

Essay by dragon76College, UndergraduateA-, October 2003

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In reading, "Romeo and Juliet," and, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," we can find a number of similarities in the characters of both plays. The distinct differences in them are that in one, we have a humorous character (or characters) with a cheery ending and in the other; we have a tragic character/s with a moral flaw that will aid in his or her downfall. In an evaluation of their distinctions we can see how they both hold true to their intent on carrying the story forward on it's meandering course through the land of Shakespeare.

In the opening of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" we are in a palace in Athens with a couple, Thesus and Hippolyta, speaking of their upcoming wedding vows. They are interrupted by Egeus who complains that his daughter, Hermia, is in love with Lysander while he has betrothed her to Demetrius. Demetrius wants Hermia, but her friend Helena wants Demetrius, who once seemed to like her.

Hermia, told that she must follow her father's word as law or join a nunnery, decides to run away and elope with Lysander. This Act is ended with a lighthearted scene in where six men decide to put on a play for Thesus forthcoming marriage. The play, wittingly enough, is, "Pyramus and Thisbe," which is what we can call the original story where, "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives." (prologue.6)

On the other hand we have "Romeo and Juliet" which starts us out with a battle between the feuding members of the household of Montague and Capulet. Next enters the moping figure of Romeo, bemoaning the loss of his love, Rosaline. After some cajoling from his friend Mercutio and cousin Benvolio, they all decide to go to a masque at the house of Capulet, where they can...