A Midsummer Night’s Dream Essay Writing Support for GCSE students

During your time in high school, you may be introduced to a range of different texts to explore, one being a very famous play written by William Shakespeare between 1594 and 1596. Trying to understand the play can be tricky, as it was written a long time ago; however, the main ideas of the play come through quite clearly. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare set in ancient Athens and the enchanted forest nearby. The play revolves around the intertwining love affairs and magical interventions of four young Athenian lovers, Hermia, Lysander, Helena, and Demetrius, who flee to the forest. Meanwhile, the fairy King Oberon and Queen Titania engage in their own romantic disputes, further complicated by the mischievous antics of the fairy Puck. The play culminates in a series of mistaken identities, humorous misunderstandings, and ultimately, the restoration of order and harmony in both the mortal and fairy realms. Throughout, Shakespeare explores themes of love, illusion, and the unpredictable nature of human desires. The main points to take away from the play are:
  • The power of love
  • The influence of magic
  • Humour and wit
The play itself is a comedy that explores the themes of love, magic, and the complexity of human relationships. The main characters in the play are:
  • Theseus: The Duke of Athens, who is preparing to marry Hippolyta.
  • Hippolyta: The Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus.
  • Hermia: A young woman in love with Lysander but forced by her father to marry Demetrius.
  • Lysander: A young nobleman who is in love with Hermia.
  • Demetrius: A nobleman who initially loves Hermia but later becomes enamoured with Helena due to the influence of magic.
  • Helena: Hermia’s friend, who is in love with Demetrius.
  • Oberon: The King of the Fairies, who is involved in the magical machinations that affect the human characters.
  • Titania: The Queen of the Fairies, who becomes entangled in Oberon’s schemes.
  • Puck (Robin Goodfellow): A mischievous fairy who serves Oberon and carries out his orders, often leading to humorous misunderstandings.
  • Bottom (Nick Bottom): A weaver and a member of the amateur acting troupe, the Mechanicals. He is famously transformed into a donkey by Puck’s magic.
When writing an essay, be sure to sound like an expert and set your tone from the beginning. You need to make sure you make strong points for the essay and show you understand every aspect of the play. Always support your writing with evidence. The examiner needs to know where you think the characters exhibit what you are saying. Marks are given for explanations in detail with strong examples from the play. To practise your essay writing skills, download our GCSE essay writing pack. Filled with essay-style questions for you to have a go at, each essay question includes relevant key notes to support your writing. Written by educational professionals, each question has been created to mimic questions that could appear in the real exam.  

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