A Midsummer Nights Dream is a classic fairy tale of lovers and betrayers. This play has been called Shakespeares “happiest comedy” and it most definitely is. It is filled with humor and non-stop action. There are many different qualities in a happy play that are clearly noticeable. For example, love that is for the best makes all plays happy and humor causes the audience to laugh and enjoy. Of course, every happy play needs to have some kind of happiness in it. A Midsummer Nights Dream is Shakespeares “happiest comedy” because it combines love, humor and joyfulness all together.
One of the reasons that A Midsummer Nights Dream is labeled as Shakespeares “happiest comedy” is because of the love that is present in it. Hermia and Lysander are only teenagers but they are in love. They even put their own lives at stake so they can be together: “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: 1 Scene: 1) Hermia tells Theseus that she will not give her virginity to Demetrius or to anybody else.
Lysander and Hermias love may be true but he does often sweet-talk her so she could be just infatuated. Also, after he says that he will never leave Hermia, he falls quickly in love with another woman when a love potion is cast on him. Theseus and Hippolyta are also in love. They often argue but their love is strong enough to keep them together. The only way reason they are together is because Theseus kidnaps Hippolyta but everything works out and they fall in love. Last but not least, the couple who is least expected to get together finally does.
Helena loves Demetrius so much that it seems she is also infatuated. Demetrius does not love Helena until Oberon casts a spell on him. This is what causes Demetrius and Helena to become lovers. Love makes this play one of Shakespeares happiest comedies with the three couples and the love they share. Along with love, humor takes a big part in this play. It is quite humorous when Puck decides to play a trick on Bottom and place a real asshead on his own. All of Bottoms friends are running away from him and he has no idea why.
Another example is when Helena is telling Demetrius that she is his dog and if he uses her, loses her and neglects her, she will still follow: “I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,/ The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:/ Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,/ (Act: 2 Scene: 1) This is funny because it is unbelievable a girl can have such a low self-esteem. Some readers may find this sickening and sad. Also, it is very funny when Oberon puts the love potion on his wife, Titanias eyes and she falls in love with the first creature she sees who happens to be Bottom: “Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. 83)
This quote is hilarious because she thinks Bottom is beautiful even though he is ugly with an asshead. However, others may find it quite humiliating for Titania to fall in love with an ass. Humor is shown throughout the play with Bottom and his asshead, Helena having such a low self-esteem and Titania loving an ass. Besides love and humor, the joyfulness makes the play one of the best. During Bottom and his friends play, all the royal Athenians are laughing and having such a good time: “No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.
Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing. / With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover,/ and prove an ass. / (Act: 5 Scene: 1) Demetrius, Lysander and Theseus are making fun of the character Pyramus and her death. Another happy part of the play is when Lysander and Hermia finally get married. They also do not have to worry about getting killed because the Duke of Athens sets up the whole wedding. The making fun of Bottoms play and Lysander and Hermias wedding are all joyful moments in the play.
A Midsummer Nights Dream is Shakespeares “happiest comedy” because it contains love, amusement and joyfulness all together. Love is shown with all of the couples getting together and also, getting married. Even though, a love potion brought a couple to love each other, their fate has gotten them married. Shakespeare has a great imagination by putting an ass head on Bottom. This causes great entertainment and humor for the audience. With the royal Athenians laughing and having a good time, this makes the play joyful and content. A Midsummer Nights Dream is definitely Shakespeares “happiest comedy. “