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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay Sample

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay Sample

Creon and Theseus have the same role in each story, which is a leader of a certain place. However, there are some differences and similarities in both characters’ profiles and motives. In Antigone, Creon appears to be a stern king. When Creon gives the ultimatum regarding Polyneices’ burial and punishes Antigone for giving Polyneices a burial, it is clear that Creon sticks to the rules that he has made. It can be seen from one of Creon’s dialogues in lines 525-529:

“I’ll have no dealings
With law-breakers, critics of the government:
Whoever is chosen to govern should be obeyed––
Must be obeyed, in all things, great and small,
Just and unjust!”

Creon is also stubborn because he does not want to listen to other people’s opinions, even from his own son, Haimon. It is reflected greatly by Creon’s dialogues, such as “You consider it right for a man of my years and experience / To go to school to a boy?” in line 586. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus appears to be a considerate king. When Egeus comes to talk about Hermia’s problem, Theseus does not immediately give the decision. Even though he knows the rule, Theseus still allows Hermia to have a say in the matter by saying “What say you, Hermia?” (1.1.46) and even gives Hermia time to think about her decision. However, from those very same actions, we can infer that both Creon and Theseus are fair kings. Creon is fair when he still wants to punish Polyneices and Antigone despite their relations as a family. Creon is a man of his words.

Theseus, on the other hand, shows his fairness by considering both parties’ opinions about the problem. Through these two characters, I think both Sophocles and Shakespeare wanted to show that being a leader is not an easy job. Through Creon’s character, Sophocles wanted to show the actual struggle of being a king. Sometimes a king could get caught up in a situation like Creon’s, when he has to choose between two things that are equally important to him. In this case, I think Sophocles also wanted to point out that a king could also make mistakes.

Through Theseus’ character, I think Shakespeare set out a good example of what qualities that should be owned by a king. Even though a leader is the one who has the power, he should also listen to other people’s opinions before making decisions. It is important for a king to make wise decisions because he is responsible for his citizen’s lives.
Antigone and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are very different in term of their genres. Antigone is a tragedy, whereas A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy. The main contrast between the plays in the atmosphere. Tragedy usually evokes a kind of negative atmosphere. For example, in Antigone, the play is filled with people arguing against each other, and there are several deaths that occur during the play. On the other hand, comedy evokes brighter atmosphere. Even though A Midsummer Night’s Dream also has several fighting parts, those fights do not end with death. The presence of the mechanicals also adds humour to the play.

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s play-within-a-play, the line between tragedy and comedy is blurred because of the mechanicals’ portrayal of the play. Pyramus and Thisbe’s story is supposed to be a tragedy, given the fact that both of the characters died during the play. However, the mechanicals’ lack of understanding and their not-so-good acting make the play seems like a comedy.

It really helped me to understand the play better through preparing the final project. Sometimes I could not really grasp the persona that some characters want to portray through reading only because I do not always have clear images of the characters’ tones and intonations. When we were practicing, I got to understand the characters’ traits better because of the way they spoke, the volume, and the intonations. Especially the part where Creon and Haimon are arguing, I can feel the tension that both characters feel. Being a messenger and understanding the script especially helped me in finding out the fact that Creon actually loves his son dearly. The same goes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. By watching other groups’ performance, I got better images on the characters’ traits. It really gave me different sense by performing and watching other performances.

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